PIERCE COUNTY - It hasn’t even been a week for high school football and already, COVID has crept in. We’ve confirmed that players on several Pierce County teams have tested positive since the first game of the season, causing five games to be cancelled.
For many parents, the first game of the season was bittersweet. While families were thrilled to have their kids back on the field, not being allowed to watch in person per COVID protocols, was rough.
"That was hard enough. But now we’re not only not watching them, there’s no games-nothing," says Anne Marie Southworth.
Southworth’s son is a senior who plays for Gig Harbor. She says having this week’s game cancelled so soon after the season finally started is heartbreaking. School officials confirmed that sometime after Friday’s game, a student from Gig Harbor has tested positive for COVID.
"I would like to say I was shocked, but it wasn’t a shock at all. Sadly it was like of course, of course this would happen," says Southworth.
Players and their families say it feels like they can’t catch a break.
And it’s not only affecting teams where players have tested positive.
"It’s pretty disappointing since we only have six games, now we only have five. It sucks pretty bad," says Graham-Kapowsin senior Jonas Waugh.
His team was scheduled to play Gig Harbor this week, but says with a player on the opposing team COVID positive-their very short season is even shorter.
"A lot of these kids have been working since they’re in 3rd grade, leading up to this season and one other athlete tests positive-all of them essentially are punished," Says Jonas’s father Doug Peterson.
He says having a snag this soon into the season is devastating. Peterson says for some kids, getting to play this year makes the difference of getting a college scholarship or not.
"For some of them athletics are the only positives in their lives, it’s very unfortunate."
A week into the season, he and many football families are praying COVID doesn’t completely cost them the season.
"Hopefully this week will send a message to all of these athletes that they need to take it seriously when they’re off the field."