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Bellevue West-North Platte football game canceled due to 'COVID-19 investigation'

Bellevue West-North Platte football game canceled due to 'COVID-19 investigation'


North Platte canceled its replacement game Friday night with visiting Bellevue West.

Thunderbird coach Mike Huffman said his team was on buses in the late morning when North Platte confirmed it couldn’t play. The cause may stem from North Platte’s junior varsity game Monday against Kearney, which had a player in that game later test positive for COVID-19.

Bellevue West, the defending state champion, was supposed to play Omaha Creighton Prep this week, but that team went into quarantine last Saturday. Kearney was North Platte’s original opponent for its homecoming game Friday. Bellevue West and North Platte worked out details Wednesday for a game.

A statement from North Platte Public Schools was posted on Twitter at midday:

“Due to an additional number of Bulldog football players being held out of tonight’s game due to COVID-19 investigation, we are unable at this late of a notice to be able to fill those voids with players who are ready to play at the varsity level. We are truly sorry that this game could not be played for our players and coaches, our community, and also for the Bellevue West Thunderbird football team. They were exceptional to work with through this process and we wish them nothing but the best the rest of the season.”

North Platte said Friday’s homecoming festivities could be rescheduled for later in the season.

The loss of this game brings Bellevue West back to a six-game season. Its opener against Omaha Burke was canceled because the Omaha Public Schools suspended athletics. Before scheduling the North Platte game, the Thunderbirds had been in contact with Southeast Polk, a suburban Des Moines school that rose to No. 2 in Iowa’s large-school ratings this week, but that team opted to play Cedar Rapids Jefferson instead.

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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Phone: 402-444-1041.

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