Saucon Valley Withdraws from District 11 Football Tournament

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Saucon Valley Football

Credit: Chris Christian

The Saucon Valley football team’s 2020 season began late and ended prematurely Monday with the announcement that the 2-2 Panthers are withdrawing from the District 11 tournament due to a two-week moratorium on extracurricular activities at Saucon Valley High School. The ban means that the team will not play Bethlehem Catholic High School (3-3) in a quarterfinal game that was set for Saturday, Nov. 7. The Panther field hockey team is also out of postseason competition due to the 14-day closure of Saucon Valley High School, which was announced Monday. (FILE PHOTO)

Following the confirmation of two additional coronavirus cases at Saucon Valley High School and the closure of the school for 14 days based on Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines, the district’s athletic department announced Monday that all team-related athletic activities have been canceled through Nov. 15.

Consequently, both the Panther football team’s District 11 quarterfinal game against Bethlehem Catholic High School on Saturday as well as the field hockey team’s District 11 semifinal game against Moravian Academy scheduled for Thursday have been canceled and will not be rescheduled, the department said in a Facebook post.

“We encourage all members of our student body, their families and our community to continue to remain diligent with mitigation efforts against COVID-19,” the statement said. “Mask wearing and good hygiene are essential at all times when outside your home. Gatherings outside that of your immediate household are not recommended.”

“Please continue to practice these important mitigation efforts so that we can return to school and the athletic fields as soon as possible,” the statement concluded.

In partnership with the athletic department and thanks to support from several local sponsors, Saucon Source livestreamed a number of fall sports events at Saucon Valley, including several football games earlier this season.

The fall season for Saucon Valley athletes also began late this year, due to delays related to COVID-19 restrictions. Football games were twice canceled or postponed at the last minute, after cases of the virus were confirmed at the high school.

Precautions were in place for players and coaches, who were required to wear masks or coverings unless they were actively engaged in competition. Football helmets were also retrofitted with clear plastic guards to help prevent the spread of airborne droplets that could potentially transmit the virus.

2020 Saucon Valley football

Credit: Chris Christian

Panther assistant football coach Teddy Airoldi likes Jiziah Davis’ interception during the Saucon Valley vs. Palmerton game on Oct. 16, 2020. The Panthers ended their season with a 2-2 record that included wins against the Blue Bombers and the Southern Lehigh Spartans. (FILE PHOTO)

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