Toronto shuts down sports for two weeks due to COVID-19

SHUT DOWN — Toronto High School shut down all sports activities Monday following a positive COVID-19 test result within the varsity football program. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

TORONTO — All sporting events at Toronto High School have been shut for the next week two weeks after a football varsity assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

The football team had to cancel its upcoming game Friday at Wellsville. Any practices or workouts from the basketball and wrestling programs also are canceled until further notice.

“One of our varsity assistants became ill Saturday night. He got tested, and the results came back positive (Monday) morning. We have to quarantine our entire football team and staff to just be safe,” Toronto Athletic Director Mark Ferrell said.

“We also have our junior high (football) team quarantined. We played Beaver Local last Wednesday, and a kid from Beaver Local tested positive on Sunday. The Columbiana County Health Department contacted us and shut us down until Nov. 5. We have shut down all sports for two weeks just to be safe.”

Ferrell added that the Jefferson County Health Department contacted Union Local High School, Toronto’s football opponent from this past Friday.

There was a possibility of the Red Knights looking to schedule one more opponent before all of Ohio high school football concludes. But, in the interest of everyone’s safety, that no longer will occur.

“At this moment, it’s probably best to just shut it down,” head football coach Josh Franke said. “Honestly, I think we were fortunate enough to get nine weeks in. I think that was more than we anticipated. All things considered, at one point we didn’t even know if there was going to be a season. If you would have told me in August that we would be able to get nine games in, win a playoff game and have a winning record, I probably would’ve taken that.

“The sentiment from us earlier this year was, sooner or later, it was bound to happen where we would come into contact with it. The fact that it took until Week 10 to happen was a lot better than anybody anticipated. We are very fortunate that we were able to accomplish everything that we did.”

Toronto finishes its varsity football season at 5-4, including a home Division VII playoff victory.

“I know (boys basketball) coach (Sean) Tucker and have a ton of respect for him,” Franke said. “As a coach, I just hope that everything works out for him, the girls basketball program and the wrestling program. I know how important those are to the coaches and players, especially the seniors.”


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