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Ohio – North Olmsted cancels OHSAA football playoff game vs. Avon to follow coronavirus protocol

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — Top-seeded Avon will have a second straight bye week in the OHSAA Division II football playoffs after North Olmsted pulled out of their game, scheduled for Friday, because of a positive coronavirus test result within its program.

The North Olmsted School District confirmed Monday evening one member of the football team tested positive for COVID-19. Nine additional students and two staff members are being required to quarantine after contact tracing conducted by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the district said in a release posted by athletic director Michael Ptacek.

“Because football is a contact sport, and the number of individuals that have been exposed is significant, the district has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining practices and games for the high school football team,” Ptacek and the district added. “We know this decision comes as a disappointment to many, however, the district did not feel that it was safe to continue on with the season given the level of exposure that has occurred. As a district we will continue to make decisions that keep our school community safe.”

This is the second time COVID-19 forced North Olmsted to cancel a football game this season.

The Eagles withdrew from their season opener in August after a player tested positive, forcing the whole team to quarantine.

North Olmsted (2-4) returned to the field Sept. 4 and continued through Friday’s Division II, Region 6 first-round game last week. The Eagles advanced with a 48-45 win against Midview. They earned a rematch with Avon (6-0), which is ranked fourth in the cleveland.com area Top 25 and beat them, 42-14, three weeks ago in a regular-season Southwestern Conference game.

Avon has since added Perrysburg (6-1), which is coming off a Division I playoff loss last week, for a regular-season home game on Friday. Perrysburg’s athletic department announced the matchup earlier Monday on its Twitter account. The game is pending OHSAA approval, which should come as the organization is allowing schools to play regular-season games when on a bye or after elimination from the playoffs.

The cancellation of Friday’s Avon-North Olmsted game is likely the second Division II playoff game that will not be played this week because of COVID-19. Willoughby South’s Region 5 game, scheduled for Friday against Benedictine, is in doubt because its school district suspended all athletics on Saturday after exposures to the virus at multiple elementary schools.

Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools superintendent Steve Thompson wrote Saturday during his district’s announcement that its COVID-19 protocol calls for all school buildings to be closed until further notice.

While the Avon-North Olmsted cancellation is reflected in the OHSAA’s updated Region 6 bracket, the status of the Benedictine-Willoughby South game has not changed in Region 5.

Avon’s next playoff game will be Friday, Oct. 23 at home vs. Highland or Fremont Ross.

Contact sports reporter Matt Goul on Twitter (@mgoul) or email (mgoul@cleveland.com).

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