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No visiting team for SHS football game

A student on Jamestown High School’s football team — which was to play Smithfield High tonight at 7 p.m. — has tested positive for COVID-19.

As such, the school has announced some last-minute changes to the scheduled game.

“When we were made aware of the situation yesterday, we immediately started contacting other schools in the Hampton Roads area to secure an alternative opponent. Unfortunately, we had no luck,” said SHS Principal Bryan Thrift via a letter to parents. “Many of our neighboring schools have rules in place that prevent play outside of their district or were already scheduled to play in a game on Friday.”

There will still be a game tonight, but it will be an inter-squad blue versus white game, consisting of two 12-minute running clock halves with stoppage during timeouts.

Several hundred SHS seniors and their families had petitioned the school to be allowed to attend what was to be the school’s final home game of football season. As of April 1, the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings loosened to permit up to 500 attendees at high school sporting events, up from the 250-person cap in place for a majority of the condensed season.

Thrift’s letter states each varsity football player, band member and cheerleader will be allowed two guests as per the previous limit, but those seniors who submitted their names via an online form earlier this week will still be allowed access to the game.

The game is free to attend, but not open to the general public. Any fees already collected will be refunded after the school’s spring break. All social distancing and mask regulations will be enforced.

Senior night festivities, where the school honors its graduating football players, band members and cheerleaders, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Parents are advised to arrive by 6:15.