CARMEL — With Carmel High’s football team canceling practice for the next two days for COVID testing and King City head coach Mac Villanueva and an assistant out with COVID, Friday’s game between the two schools has been canceled.
The Padres, who postponed and then canceled last Sunday’s game with Monte Vista Christian for COVID-related issues, retested all of its players on both levels Monday.
“We won’t do anything on the field until we get the results back,” said Carmel athletic director and football coach Golden Anderson. “We informed King City of our uncertainty over the weekend.”
While Carmel hadn’t officially canceled the game, King City informed Anderson and Pacific Coast Athletic League commissioner Tim McCarthy that it was dealing with similar issues Monday morning.
Villanueva, who along with his assistant are vaccinated, informed his administration that he and an assistant had mild symptoms and tested positive Monday morning.
“I informed my AD I’m positive,” Villanueva said. “At that point, I’m done for 10 days. Other than a little achiness, I feel fine. I have all the faith in my assistant coaches to run the team.”
The Mustangs will continue to practice this week, with a majority of the varsity and junior varsity players expected to practice.
“We’re going to have practice,” King City Athletic Director Anthony Velasquez said. “The difference with us is exposure versus positive tests in terms of players. Our (cases) are two adults. But it can change from five to 20 in a day.”
At this point, King City is not requiring any of its players to be tested, unless they have COVID-related systems. A positive test in the King City Unified School District means a 10-day quarantine from practice for coaches or players.
As of Monday, Anderson would have had 24 eligible players among a roster of 40 cleared to play Friday, with no knowledge of the results of the current tests for COVID being administered.
“We have kids that are negative, but have some symptoms, or have come in contact,” Anderson said. “We’re also dealing with some injuries and other issues.”
Carmel opened the season with a 46-26 win at Pacific Grove, where afterward more than 500 people stormed the field to celebrate retaining “The Shoe.”
After waiting three days to play St. Francis of Watsonville Aug. 30, King City jumped on a bus to Greenfield last Friday, where it improved to 2-0 on the season with a 34-0 win.
“Our kids are masked on a bus and windows are down,” Velasquez said. “We are following the protocols that have been recommended. We’re still doing a lot of preemptive measures that are required anymore, like temperature checks.”
Carmel becomes the second team in the PCAL to have a second game wiped out because of COVID concerns. San Lorenzo Valley has yet to play this year, canceling its first two games. Overall, five games have been canceled in the PCAL over the first two weeks because of COVID- related issues.
It’s unlikely the King City-Carmel game will be made up since both teams have different byes during the season.
“We totally understand what King City is going through,” Anderson said. “This will allow us to reset the board and make sure all safety measures have been taken.”
King City is slated to visit Gonzales on Sept. 17. Carmel will not play again until it opens Mission Division play on Sept. 25, hosting Gilroy.
Contributed by local news sources