Coaches: Groveport Madison cleared to play after COVID-19 cancellation

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
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Less than four days after a COVID-19 case put the rest of the Groveport Madison football team’s regular season in jeopardy, the Cruisers learned Sept. 28 that their final scheduled regular-season game Friday, Oct. 2, at home against Central Crossing will be played.

Groveport coach Mitch Westcamp and Comets coach Trevor White confirmed the game to ThisWeekSPORTS.com.

The Groveport Madison district announced Sept. 25 that a staff member associated with the Cruisers was confirmed as having COVID-19. Initially, all team activities were suspended for 14 days, costing Groveport its game that night at Newark.

According to a district statement, eight students were deemed to have been in close contact with the individual — defined as within six feet for more than 15 minutes — and like the staff member are subject to a two-week quarantine.

Eight students and one coach constitutes a workout pod as defined by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

The individual was not identified by the district, citing privacy laws.

“Without question, the safety of our staff, students and their families is our foremost concern,” the district statement read. “We know no one wants to take additional risks when it comes to this serious disease.”

No other Groveport sports programs were impacted.

Westcamp said Sept. 28 that he is one of five coaches who will miss the game, along with eight players.

“I am just happy we’re playing. The game won’t matter in the grand scheme of the things with the playoffs coming up, but I didn’t want the guys to miss a chance to be out there,” said Westcamp, who had not officially named an acting head coach as of Sept. 28. “I’ll be on FaceTime the entire time the offense is practicing (this week) and doing everything I can.”

The Cruisers are 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division and will be playing for the first time since a 43-3 loss to defending Division I state champion Pickerington Central on Sept. 18.

Central Crossing is 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the league after a 34-10 loss to Reynoldsburg on Sept. 25.

The teams have split their two meetings. The Cruisers won 42-28 in 2016 and lost 27-7 in 2017.

Under the original quarantine, Groveport would not have been able to play again until Oct. 9, the first day of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

WEEK 6

CENTRAL CROSSING at GROVEPORT MADISON

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2

•Last meeting: 2017, Central Crossing 27-7

•Central Crossing (2-3 overall, 2-2 in OCC-Buckeye) to date: Lost to Grove City 7-6; defeated Lancaster 21-18; lost to Pickerington Central 47-0; def. Newark 32-7; lost to Reynoldsburg 34-10

•Groveport (3-1 overall, 2-1 in OCC-Buckeye) to date: Def. Westland 38-0; def. Reynoldsburg 45-14; def. Lancaster 16-13; lost to Pickerington Central 43-3

•Top Comets: Drew Basham (OL/DL), Alec Boyd (QB/LB), Freddy Burchett (OL/DL), Kyren Glaze (RB/DB), Jonathan Mathers (TE/LB), Tristen Needham (TE/LB), Tyler Terrell (K/P) and Nick Tiegler (RB/LB)

•Top Cruisers: Elyjah Aekins (WR/DB), Clarence Gossett IV (LB), Jashaun McGraw (FB/DL), Makarius Mosley (OL/DL), John Motton (WR/DB), Isaiah Rogers (QB), Leland Slaven (OL) and Jalil Underdown (RB)