Contact with Infected Foe Sidelines Braymer Football for Two Weeks
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
BRAYMER — If the classic television comedy/variety show Hee Haw still was in production, a representative of the Braymer High School football program – perhaps Chillicothe High School alumnus and Bobcats head coach Zach Douglas – would be due for an invitation to do a guest appearance in the brief, 4-person “gloom, despair, and agony on me” segment.
BHS’ Bobcats have not tasted victory in over two years, but first-year coach Douglas seemingly has had them trending upward the first couple of weeks of the 2020 season, with a golden opportunity to snap the losing skid this week.
However, the school was notified Wednesday by an official of St. Paul Lutheran High School at Concordia, a school whose team opposed Braymer on the gridiron last Friday, that one of SPL’s players subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
“This player had played a significant amount of time in the game with us,” Joe Mallory, BHS athletics director, related to the C-T Thursday. “Therefore, in accordance with the health department and (Missouri State High School Activities Association) guidelines, we are having to quarantine the players that had played for us in that game for 14 days.”
Given that Braymer competes in 8-man football and, according to Douglas just prior to the start of the season, had 18 players participating, the total number of Bobcats involved in last week’s game at Concordia was “pretty much my entire team.”
As a result of the shutdown – both from game play and practice, as well as school attendance, for the students involved, Friday’s scheduled Braymer game at Keytesville against the brand-new Keytesville/Mendon: Northwestern Thunder program has been canceled.
Given that this week’s planned opponent lost its all-time-debut game two weeks ago and has players just learning the organized game for the first time, Braymer seemed to have a prime-cut opening to get in the “wins” column for the first time since defeating the Stewartsville-Osborn co-op team in the first round of the state playoffs at the end of the 2017 season. Now, that chance is wiped out.
Previously erased from BHS’ original schedule was the week six home action against Chilhowee, called off its season before it started.
With next Friday’s visit to Orrick at least postponed, this year’s Bobcats might have only four more regular-season opportunities to get that elusive first win under Douglas. The Bobcats might end up with only one game between Sept. 4 and Oct. 8. That would be at Norborne against the Norborne/Hardin-Central Aggies on Sept. 25.
With the two lost weeks of practice time factored in, the likelihood of the rusty Bobcats prevailing in any of those four remaining contests figures to be diminished beyond what it otherwise would have been.