Wave of last-minute COVID cancellations ripples through Twin Cities metro football

A flurry of COVID-related situations disrupted high school football games across the metro area on Friday, with last-minute cancellations leaving some teams without games and others scrambling to find new opponents.

Lakeville North saw its scheduled opponent canceled for the third consecutive week. St. Michael-Albertville went from not playing because of a COVID test earlier in the week to playing Champlin Park after the Rebels lost their scheduled opponent, Anoka, at the last minute.

The schedule upheaval came as Anoka, Champlin Park, Andover, Coon Rapids and Blaine learned that the Anoka-Hennepin School District is moving to distance learning because of a rise in area COVID cases. That means all five programs will shut down their sports programs effective Nov. 2, the district said in a release on its website.

Lakeville North posted on Twitter shortly before 5 p.m. that its game against Eastview was canceled. Both the Panthers’ Week 1 opponent, Rosemount, and Week 2 opponent, Burnsville, canceled because of COVID-related issues.

Cretin-Derham Hall’s game against Woodbury was canceled. A tweet from Woodbury’s activities department on Friday afternoon said, in part, “We’re hoping to be able to reschedule. More information will be shared when it’s available.’’

The Raiders found a new opponent in St. Paul Central, which had an opening after its scheduled game Thursday against St. Paul Humboldt was canceled.

White Bear Lake’s game at East Ridge was postponed, with no immediate word on what triggered it. East Ridge posted the news on its Twitter page late Friday afternoon.

Then there’s what happened with St. Michael-Albertville, which started the week as Edina’s homecoming opponent on Friday. The game was canceled earlier this week when a positive COVID test was reported at St. Michael-Albertville.

Later in the week, however, the number of quarantined players at St. Michael-Albertville dropped enough that it could resume practicing, according to an account on the North Wright County Today website.

But the Knights couldn’t play Edina because the Hornets had rescheduled with Bemidji, which had its game against St. Cloud Apollo canceled.

The Knights looked to be out of luck until Friday, when Anoka was forced to cancel its game against Champlin Park because of a COVID-19 investigation. Suddenly in need of another team to play, the Rebels found the Knights. The teams kicked off at 4 p.m. at St. Michael-Albertville.


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