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Positive COVID results cancel Orland football game, coaches and players wish things were handled differently

Two Orland High football players, one in JV and one in Varsity, tested positive for the virus last Friday. Players and coaches say they were tested multiple times, but the games were still cancelled.

Posted: Apr 3, 2021 12:20 AM

ORLAND, Calif. - Two Friday night football games have been cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

Orland High School announced both JV and Varsity games were cancelled after one player from each team tested positive for the virus, and Anderson High School said their game was also cancelled Friday because of COVID protocols.

Players feel frustrated that a game was taken from their already shortened season. They are only getting five games after the pandemic.

"To have just five games we just want to put everything out there," said Orland Football Senior, Alfredo Valesquez. "And we want to be out there every Friday night."

But for Alfredo Valesquez and the entire Orland Football team, Friday night did not go like they hoped after two players tested positive for COVID-19.

"At first, we didn't know if we were gonna have a season," said Valesquez. "Throughout they're still encouraging us to workout get on the field."

"Is it frustrating at this point? Are you guys angry about it? What's going through the team's mind, through your mind?" asked Action News Now.

"It's definitely frustrating," he responded. "Especially since I know our coach is very frustrated too, because like they've been doing so much."

"In disbelief," said Head Coach Nick Valezquez. "Obviously, we were all very frustrated."

Glenn County Public Health Department recommended that all 40 players on JV and Varsity quarantine for 10 days.

That means the bleachers and the football field were empty Friday night, and the practice facilities at Orland High were empty all week.

State guidelines say if a player tests positive for the virus, they must isolate for 10 days, and close contacts must follow rules as well.

But Coach Valezquez says the players and himself were tested multiple times, even once right after the positive results last Friday.

"Get the whole team, the whole varsity team, we're all going to do rapid tests," said Coach recalling what the Principal told him. "We all get in there including coaches and we all come back negative."

Coach V says the players and coaches were then tested again on Tuesday, and still all negative.

"We have rapid tests for a reason, that's why we're even playing," he said.

Still, the game was cancelled after the Orland School District decided to take on the county public health's recommendation.

"I've been playing since I was in 3rd grade about," said Alfredo. "So to be able to not get all the games we were given, it's definitely heartbreaking."

We reached out to the Orland Superintendent, and to the Glenn County Department of Public Health for comment on the cancelled games, they did not return our calls.

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