Campo Verde has become the latest football program forced to cancel games due to COVID-19, school Athletic Director Max Ragsdale said Friday.
Ragsdale confirmed all levels of the football program were suspending activities until Nov. 16, resulting in the cancellation of the varsity program’s next two games against Saguaro and Horizon.
“In order to save our last game and possible entry into the playoffs, we – with district support – are canceling all levels and all football related activities until Nov. 16,” Ragsdale said. “We had a player test positive and we don’t want to jeopardize the rest of our season with anymore cases.”
Ragsdale added this is not a situation of all three football programs having to quarantine due to potential exposure. He said this decision was made out of precaution.
Campo Verde entered Week 6 of the pandemic-delayed Arizona high school football season with a 3-2 overall record. In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must have played at least five games. However, with only eight teams eligible to make the postseason, Campo Verde’s ability to play the final game of the regular season against Maricopa on Nov. 20 is crucial.
This now the fourth instance in which Saguaro is left without an opponent this season. Chaparral was forced to cancel on the Sabercats in the first week of the season due to an outbreak. The Firebirds also canceled two other games.
Saguaro scheduled Casteel last-minute on Oct. 30 after Horizon was forced to cancel due to cases. Notre Dame Prep was forced to cancel two games -- one of which against Saguaro -- due to cases. The Sabercats have since scheduled Horizon again to fill the Nov. 13 slot.
Along with Chaparral and Horizon, several other East Valley football programs have been forced to cancel games this season. Perry was forced to cancel its Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 games.
Desert Ridge canceled its contests against Red Mountain and against Basha as a result of cases. The Jaguars return to the field Friday against Williams Field.
Desert Vista canceled its Nov. 6 contest against Chandler due to COVID-19. Chandler Prep, a 2A school, canceled its final two games of the season. Earlier in the year, both Arete Prep and Gilbert Christian canceled a game due to a positive case.
Gilbert Public Schools is among the several districts tracking active COVID-19 cases in its schools. As of Wednesday, Nov. 4, Campo Verde had 20 active cases of COVID-19 among students and staff, the most in the district.