West Scranton’s wrestling program is shut down two weeks because a member of the team tested positive for the coronavirus after Monday’s practice.
“It’s 14 days of a quarantine and we cannot force anyone, but we want them all to get tested and come back negative in addition to the 14-day quarantine,” West Scranton athletic director Tom Smith said. “It’s the Scranton School District’s policy to follow the 14-day quarantine even though some of the new updates say you only have to go 10 days, but the district is continuing with the 14 just to be sure.”
The quarantine is limited to just the varsity wrestling program and not other sports teams.
The Invaders returned to practice Monday when Gov. Tom Wolf’s three-week shutdown order of scholastic sports and other activities to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus expired.
Now, the Invaders will have to wait until Jan. 19 to get together as a team again.
“It’s just tough because we had gotten into wrestling shape before the first shutdown,” West Scranton coach Paul Fox said. “Everybody just started getting into shape, we started looking good. Then we have a shutdown. We have a three-week shutdown and then guys come back, we have a practice, knowing that we have a couple weeks to get back on track, and then we get shut down.”
West Scranton needs just two more practices to reach the 10 required before a team can compete in a match. It will be a quick turnaround for the Invaders, whose first match is scheduled for Jan. 23 against defending District 2 Class 3A team champion Delaware Valley.
“Our kids are going to have to work out on their own while they’re quarantining,” Fox said. “We’re going to try to do a Zoom so that everybody has to try and tune in at the same time and just have them do things like that.”
In the meantime, the Invaders will take every safety precaution until they return to the mat, especially after the recent death of 2010 West Scranton graduate Stephen Sunday because of COVID-19 complications.
“They have to know that all the regulations and guidelines were put in to benefit them,” Smith said. “We don’t want any further tragedies. They have to know how close it is because of the unfortunate death of Stephen Sunday, a healthy young man, a professional firefighter. We don’t want that to happen to anybody, so let’s do what we can.”