All Belgrade sporting events have been canceled this weekend, Activities Director Toby Robinson confirmed to the Belgrade News Thursday afternoon, after a handful of student-athletes tested positive for Covid over the past 48 hours.
In addition, practices have been suspended through Monday for all of Belgrade’s sports programs.
“Mostly it’s only three students. Three students and that’s it,” Robinson said. “All the contact tracing is what gets you, especially when they’re on a team.”
Belgrade’s varsity volleyball team was scheduled to host Livingston Thursday, while the froshmore and varsity football teams were slated to play at Great Falls Friday. The JV and varsity soccer teams were to host Gallatin Saturday, while cross-country had a bye week.
Through contact tracing, more than the 150 athletes have been placed in quarantine as well as more than two-dozen coaches.
“We are basically 14 staff members down, 165 students in quarantine,” Robinson said. “That’s tough, that’s tough to deal with when you’re losing players off your teams and things like that.”
Belgrade’s entire froshmore football team entered quarantine yesterday for the next two weeks, which led to the cancellation of Friday’s conference game against the Bison.
“That took some of our players from varsity, and that took our froshmore coaches. So we were down to four coaches and 23 players to go to Great Falls,” said Robinson. “That was last night and then we got two more today, and that took us down to almost 19 players and our head coach in quarantine.”
Belgrade’s entire freshman volleyball team was also placed into quarantine Thursday, which contributed to Robinson shutting down all sports activities.
“I feel like with these kind of numbers that warrants us in the athletic department to do something to do our part,” he said. “Because the school is kind of suffering right now in terms of getting those Covid numbers. We just feel obligated to do our part here in the athletic office, be responsible and proactive with it.”
While Robinson hopes to reschedule the soccer matches against Gallatin, he noted it would be difficult with the regular season concluding Oct. 10 and playoffs beginning the 13th.
It’s unlikely the volleyball match against Livingston will be rescheduled, and Belgrade’s football games against Great Falls and Bozeman will not be rescheduled.
“We can’t reschedule those,” said Robinson. “(We play Billings) West and then (Billings) Skyview, and Skyview’s the 23rd. Playoffs start the 30th. You just can’t make these up, there’s no time for that.”
The contests will not go down as forfeits, however, and playoff seeding will be based off win percentage, Robinson said.
While the aforementioned programs are in quarantine, five members of the golf team are in Missoula competing at the State AA tournament.
Update: All activities have been canceled through the weekend of Oct. 11. Belgrade AD Toby Robinson sent an email to parents stating:
“At this time we will re-evaluate our status as a school to determine if we can continue our activities. I know there are many questions, but please know that we have the absolute best interest of your child at heart. We, as an administrative team, have decided to give our school a fighting chance to keep the doors open. Currently we have 245 quarantined students, 71 of them participate in sports. Thank you for your understanding during these tough times."