By Carey Phillips


Smoky Mountain’s season-opening middle school football game at Flat Rock last Thursday was called off due to COVID-19 issues in the Mustang program.

The team is expected to be able to play today (Thursday) at Brevard.

“One player tested positive,” said Jake Buchanan, deputy superintendent who also serves as county athletic director. “Because of when he had tested positive and first started showing signs of symptoms, the health department and school nurses made the determination that the best recourse would be to shut down middle school football and have all of the students quarantined.”

Buchanan said it’s not wise for athletes to be wearing masks while involved in physical exertion, but not wearing masks opens up the entire team to the close contact rules.

He said parents were given the option to have their child take a COVID test. Those with a negative test were eligible to return Monday. Those who are not tested will not be able to return until Friday.

Tuesday morning Buchanan said enough players had tested negative to allow the Brevard game to be played. He said he was unaware of any other positive tests in the middle school program.