App football team takes the field

App State football was forced to postpone its Wednesday, Oct. 7, contest against Louisiana in response to recent positive COVID-19 tests in the program. The schools plan to make up the contest in early December.

BOONE — App State has postponed its scheduled football game against Louisiana due to COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing, the Athletics office announced Oct. 1, adding that the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with Chancellor Sheri Everts, AppHealthCare (the local public health agency) and the Sun Belt Conference.”

A rematch of the 2018 and 2019 Sun Belt championship game participants was scheduled to be played on Wednesday, Oct. 7, on ESPN. The game will be rescheduled for either Dec. 4 or 5 in Boone.

According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, there were three active cases of COVID-19 on the football team as of Thursday, Oct. 1, and a total of 43 cases have been associated with the football program since June. The university reported a total of 181 active cases among students and four cases among employees as of Oct. 1.

All active cases are recovering in isolation, App State Athletics said. Close contacts who have been identified through contact tracing are required to quarantine.

The football team also announced it had three active cases the week of the Sept. 26 game vs. Campbell — with 18 additional athletes held out of the game due to contact tracing — but the program chose to move forward with the game as scheduled.

The Mountaineers’ next game is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Georgia Southern. Updates will be provided should any further changes to the schedule be deemed necessary.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and university community remain our top priorities as we continue to navigate the unprecedented effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said. “While we share in the disappointment of everyone who has worked hard to prepare for this football game, we have known that there will be challenges to maintaining the athletics calendar. We appreciate the continued support of Chancellor Everts for our student-athletes and athletics department, and we support the university’s efforts to maintain a safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff.”

“While we are disappointed that we will not be able to play Louisiana next week, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our team, our staff and the university community,” head coach Shawn Clark said.

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