SALT LAKE CITY — The Redhawks' debut will have to wait.
On the opening weekend of the 2021 Utah high school football season, the season's first cancellation impacted the newly rebranded Bountiful High football team.
Bountiful's home opener against Highland was canceled due to a number of COVID-19 cases in the Rams' camp, the Salt Lake City School District confirmed to KSL.
The district said one Highland player tested positive and contact tracing is now underway to identify other close contacts and risks of exposure.
Unvaccinated players on the team have also been told to quarantine.
#BREAKING Tonight's Highland v Bountiful football game is cancelled due to #Covid_19.— Debbie Dujanovic (@debbieksl) August 13, 2021
District says HHS player is positive and contact tracing now underway to ID other players who had exposure.
Unvaxxed players told to quarantine.
The player attended practice Wednesday before testing positive Thursday, Salt Lake City School District spokesperson Yandary Chatwin told KSL. The Salt Lake County health department is running contact tracing and determining how many players will need to quarantine.
Under current health department protocols, anyone who is vaccinated is not required to quarantine.
"We don't know who is vaccinated and who isn't. The health department is handling that," Chatwin said. "But we do know that in our school district, only 42% of 12-17 year olds are vaccinated. If the numbers on the football team are on par with what the health department says, we likely won't have enough to play a game today."
The game was supposed to be the first under Bountiful's new mascot, the Redhawks, after the school changed from its long-held mascot "Braves" last spring after receiving complaints from the community's Native American community.
It's also the first high school football cancellation of the season in Utah a year after the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked schedules across the state, right up through the playoffs. The pandemic cancellations were ruled "no contests" rather than forfeits under Utah High School Activities Association guidelines from last year.
That policy expired last year, but the association will conclude Friday night's game as a "no contest," as well. Similar guidelines expired at the end of the school year, or as late as June 15, in the case of the UHSAA's policy requiring masks or face coverings at all events.