COVID-19 shuts down JFK Football for two weeks, cancelling one in-town rivalry game and putting another in jeopardy

by Mike Pavlichko

One JFK football game against an in-town rival already has been cancelled – and another is a big question mark – due to COVID-19.

In an email to the media, Big Central athletic directors, and others, Kennedy AD Warren Rotella said, “Due to a COVID-19 related issue, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School Athletics are cancelled through October 28th. We hope to resume on October 29, 2020.”

Reached by email Thursday morning, Rotella could not specify whether there were any cases on the football team of if they were in the high school population at large.

However, as it relates to football, it means the Mustangs’ game this Friday against in-town rival Colonia is cancelled, as well as next week’s game against Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

As with many COVID situations across the state, positive cases have had a cascade effect throughout the schedule. Earlier this fall, initially reported that two cases in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood district caused the football team there to shut down. That affected A.L. Johnson – which had scrimmaged the Raiders – and caused them to quarantine, scrubbing their season-opener against Roselle. Colonia had been scheduled to play at SPF in the Raiders’ first-ever home night game, but that also got cancelled. The Patriots eventually found a make-up game at Clifton.

JFK’s game at Woodbridge on Friday, October 30th – scheduled to be broadcast on Central Jersey Sports Radio – also is in jeopardy. Assuming a return to practice on Thursday, October 29th, that doesn’t leave the Mustangs much time to prepare for a visit to play the Barrons, an in-town rival, and one of the top teams in the Big Central.

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