Bennett-McQuaid state quarterfinal football game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Saturday night’s NYSPHSAA Class AA Far West Regional football game between Bennett High School and McQuaid Jesuit High School has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

There was a COVID outbreak on McQuaid’s team, a Catholic high school from Rochester, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed Saturday. Kickoff was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Williamsville South High School.

Poloncarz said in a tweet, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, in consultation with the Erie County Department of Health and Monroe County Health Department, decided to postpone the game.

He said McQuaid “tried to force the game to be played by judicial order,” but NYSPHSAA ultimately decided to postpone until a court hearing could be had in the coming days.

News 4 has reached out to NYSPHSAA for more information.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

Here’s a statement regarding the postponement from McQuaid Jesuit High School:

This afternoon we were informed by Robert Zayas, the executive director of the New York Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) that tonight’s New York State Regional Final game would be postponed. This postponement comes after the Honorable Marc A. Montour of Erie County Supreme Court awarded McQuaid Jesuit a temporary restraining order against the Erie County Department of Health this afternoon. On Friday evening, the Erie County Department of Health indicated it would only permit vaccinated McQuaid Jesuit players, coaches, and managers to compete in the Regional Final because some players and an assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. The game was scheduled to be played in Williamsville, located in Erie County. Per McQuaid Jesuit’s protocols, the varsity football team was placed on a 72-hour pause for contact practice, effective the evening of Tuesday, November 16, after two members of the team tested positive for COVID-19. With guidance received from the Monroe County Department of Public Health, McQuaid Jesuit tested all players and coaches for three consecutive days beginning Thursday morning. All players and coaches, whether vaccinated or not, were tested Thursday, Friday, and again this morning with negative tests each day required to participate tonight. Testing did result in several more positive cases which have been reported to the Department of Public Health. Any members of the program who tested positive were immediately required to isolate. McQuaid Jesuit’s COVID-19 data is publicly available at the NYS COVID-19 School Report Card website. Throughout the testing process, McQuaid Jesuit leadership was in regular communication with the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Section V officials, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, and our counterparts at the Buffalo Public School district. We were prepared to proceed with tonight’s game after ensuring a healthy and safe outdoor environment for all in accordance with recommendations from health officials. McQuaid Jesuit’s players and coaches learned of Zayas’s abrupt postponement while on the buses waiting to depart.

“All of us hope that we can allow our players to safely compete in a game they have worked so hard for,” added McQuaid Jesuit President, Fr. Phil Judge, S.J.  “We look forward to that opportunity in the near future.”

New York State Public High School Athletic Association

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

High School Sports

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