Wellsville, Toronto football canceled due to COVID-19

TORONTO — All sporting events at Toronto High School have been shut for the next week two weeks after a football varsity assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

The football team had to cancel Friday’s regular-season game at Wellsville, the first time the teams have not played in a season in many decades.

Toronto’s football program has been shut down until Nov. 5. Any practices or workouts from the basketball and wrestling programs also are canceled until further notice.

“One of our varsity assistants became ill Saturday night. He got tested, and the results came back positive (Monday) morning. We have to quarantine our entire football team and staff to just be safe,” Toronto athletic director Mark Ferrell said.

“We also have our junior high (football) team quarantined. We played Beaver Local last Wednesday, and a kid from Beaver Local tested positive on Sunday. The Columbiana County Health Department contacted us and shut us down until Nov. 5. We have shut down all sports for two weeks just to be safe.”

Ferrell added the Jefferson County Health Department contacted Union Local High School, Toronto’s football opponent from this past Friday. The Jets had to cancel their upcoming game with Magnolia.

This Friday’s cancellation most likely means the end of the season for the Toronto and Wellsville football teams.

“At this moment, it’s probably best to just shut it down,” Toronto football coach Josh Franke said. “Honestly, I think we were fortunate enough to get nine weeks in. I think that was more than we anticipated. All things considered, at one point we didn’t even know if there was going to be a season. If you would have told me in August that we would be able to get nine games in, win a playoff game and have a winning record, I probably would’ve taken that.”

Wellsville athletic director Don Elliott said the Tigers are trying to find someone to play Friday.

If not, the Tigers will finish the season with a 4-5 record because are not expected to play into November.

“I’m not planning it at the present,” Elliott said.

Toronto has a 5-4 record, including a home Division VII playoff victory.

“The sentiment from us earlier this year was, sooner or later, it was bound to happen where we would come into contact with it,” Franke said. “The fact that it took until Week 10 to happen was a lot better than anybody anticipated. We are very fortunate that we were able to accomplish everything that we did.”


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