LOOP, Texas (KCBD) - The Loop Longhorns football team is in quarantine: 12 players, two coaches and three trainers due to one player testing positive for COVID-19.
When I contacted Longhorn football coach Bear Chesley, he knew why I was calling.
“I’ve been waiting for you to call. All questions have to be directed to our Superintendent,” he said.
Loop Superintendent Heath Blackmon explained to KCBD Sports what happened.
“We had a young man test positive. We followed the protocol and got with the health official immediately. We cleaned all the affected areas.”
Loop had an inter-squad scrimmage Friday and that led to everyone involved going into quarantine.
“The definition of close contact is within six feet for a duration of 15 minutes or longer without a mask. When they are playing football, they are in close contact and they are in the huddles. The other players, they started their 10 day incubation period. They can come back next Tuesday, providing they are fever free and they have no symptoms. Now we put it in God’s hands and we pray,” said Blackmon.
The athlete who tested positive has a 14-day quarantine and it may be longer depending on what the doctors say.
Loop ISD jumped right into action to follow the proper guidelines.
“The safety of my staff and students is at the top of my list. The kids are feeling great. They understand. The parents appreciate what we are trying to do. We go from being Administrators to saving lives.”
Had this happened during the football season, it would have involved a lot more.
“If it’s the regular season, if you think about it, I’d have to contact the other team. Luckily we are not back in school yet. So it was just limited to the football team. It’s just one of those things that affected our little school. I’m gonna do what the guidelines say. I have talked to the health official in the last two months more than I have my wife.”
Loop had their lone scrimmage set for Friday, August 21 with Hermleigh. They are now looking at other opponents.
Loop might be the first football team In the State to have to entirely go into quarantine.
“I always want us to be first, but not in this.”
Other students and athletes at Loop were not affected. The Loop volleyball team opens the season at Olton tonight.
“I’ll tell you what, following the guidelines and the UIL guidance at the inter-squad scrimmage ensured that everyone else was not in close contact. It did work. People in the stands following UIL guidelines wear a mask. They’re six feet apart. Lucky at Loop, most people actually park outside the fence. It seems like we are being real strict, but we have too for this reason right here.”
Mr. Blackmon is proud of the way the community came together and followed the guidelines
We wish the Loop football team good luck.
Loop is about an hour southwest of Lubbock, just east of Seagraves.