Laney High kicks off out of quarantine in season-opener

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 11:33 PM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Three of the seven high schools in Richmond County have had to cancel football games due to COVID-19 in their programs. For Laney High, coming back out of quarantine has been a relief.

The Wildcats had their first game following a two-week quarantine, and the team’s coaching staff says it’s been an emotional ride, but they were ready to get back out there.

“Our guys are excited to get out here today, and just to bang up against somebody other than ourselves,” Chris Thomas, offensive coordinator for Laney High, said.

Thomas says his guys were devastated when they had to cancel the season-opener against Josey. But they weren’t going to let the delayed season kill their spirits.

“One thing I’ve been harping on to our guys about is controlling the controllable. We can only control what we can control,” Thomas said.

Any Richmond County School that has someone in the program test positive must wait two weeks before playing again. In the meantime, the Wildcats used that time to come together as a team.

“I set up Zoom meetings with them just to let them know, hey, we’re in this together. It ain’t going to rain forever. The sun is going to shine again,” Thomas said.

Once the team got out of quarantine, they had to go through a five-day acclimation period.

So, while their opponent Grovetown is already two weeks into the regular season -- Laney is also playing for something bigger tonight.

Their coach, Rashad Dunn, was released today after being hospitalized for two weeks with COVID-19. He wasn’t on the sidelines tonight, but the players still felt his presence throughout the game.

“He’s devastated he can’t be here with us, but he shared some great words of wisdom that he shared with the kids tonight. So hopefully they take heed to it and we come out and represent for him,” Thomas said.

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