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Oklahoma high school football: How Edmond North is getting back on schedule after positive coronavirus case paused season

The Edmond North football team practices in 2018. The 2020 Huskies had to miss their first two games because of a positive coronavirus case but open Friday against Edmond Santa Fe. [Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
The Edmond North football team practices in 2018. The 2020 Huskies had to miss their first two games because of a positive coronavirus case but open Friday against Edmond Santa Fe. [Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

EDMOND — It didn’t take long for Edmond North’s football team to face the harsh reality many teams are tackling this season.

Two weeks ago, a player wasn't feeling well at practice. After being pulled off the field and sent home, he tested positive for COVID-19.

Edmond North coach Tanner Roof and his assistants quickly went from implementing a game plan to figuring out which teammates this infected player had been in contact with, who his locker was next to and how many others could possibly have the virus.

“It was a scramble because we wanted to try and prevent spread as much as possible,” Roof said.

Even with social distancing guidelines at practice and in the locker room, 21 Edmond North football players, mainly those on varsity, were unexpectedly forced to quarantine for two weeks. The team had to postpone its Week 0 opener at Deer Creek to Week 3 and cancel its Edlam rivalry game against Edmond Memorial in Week 1.

Questions settled in on when Edmond North would practice again, let alone play a game.

But on Tuesday, the Huskies had their full team at practice for the first time since the coronavirus rattled their season before it even started. On Friday awaits Edmond Santa Fe, a team that has played two games against some of the state’s top-ranked programs and had a scrimmage against another.

Edmond North has played one scrimmage and practiced with mainly junior varsity players for two weeks.

“Our guys are just excited to get back and have a chance to play Santa Fe,” Roof said. “I’ve had players text and ask whether they could come to the JV game tonight. I’ve had to tell them no, be patient and we’ll see you tomorrow.”

Roof said he has stayed in contact via Zoom and other methods with his quarantined players, giving them scouting reports and harping on them to try and stay mentally and physically ready while following quarantine guidelines.

There are some concerns about conditioning heading into Friday’s matchup, but Roof is hoping cooler forecasted temperatures will help with cramping and fatigue issues.

Practice has been different the past two weeks. Many younger players have gotten more vital reps that could pay dividends down the road.

Although Edmond North’s program was following stringent coronavirus precautions, they have made efforts to make them even better. More spacing during drills at practice, especially among those who aren’t participating. Less time in the locker room.

The players have quickly adapted, too. They don’t want to lose any more games when there’s no guarantee the season can even finish.

For Roof, he’s ready to have his full team and get back to preparing for its first game.

“When Friday comes, it’s going to feel somewhat normal,” Roof said. “We’re all just ready to get back to it.”

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›

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