COVID cancels 29 local football games as many students quarantine

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 12:45 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Thomson High canceled its next two games against Washington County and Ware County. That brings the total number of called-off games in our area this season to 29.

At South Aiken High School, nearly half of the students are quarantined, which is the most in the whole county.

Nearly three-quarters of South Aiken’s football team is in quarantine. Last season they only had one game canceled, this year two have been canceled so far. Head Coach Chris Hamilton says it’s disappointing after a summer’s worth of preparing, but he’s using the challenges as an opportunity to teach his players life lessons.

For a second week in a row at South Aiken, the lights will be out, bleachers empty and sidelines silent.

A school with 43 percent of students home quarantining, Coach Chris Hamilton only had 26 of his 80 players at practice Thursday.

“That’s the biggest thing we want to make sure these guys are safe. And it’s like I said, at the end of the day football is kind of secondary to that and it’s hard for an old football coach to say but that’s the truth,” said Hamilton.

Normally, Hamilton says it’s all about having your head in the game, but this year he’s focusing on what’s going on in his players heads out of the game.

“I tell the guys all the time man life not always going to be fair and you know how you deal with disappointment sometimes in life makes all the difference and so I hope that if nothing else we can get that and take that from this,” he said.

A season that was supposed to be normal now, unpredictable.

“The old cliché play like it’s your last game you never know so hopefully when we get back well have a better understanding of that and play like it might be our last game because you never know,” he said.

But he’s remaining optimistic about the rest of the season.

“I’m always try to be a positive guy and so I think were going to pick up in a week and get rolling,” he said.

South Aiken is one of nine games canceled this week. Some of those include Aiken against Silver Bluff, Fox Creek against McCormick and Laney against Josey. But we will still be out at some of the games happening tomorrow with our OFL coverage.

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