MARATHON — None of the Marathon High School football team players tested positive for coronavirus last week; however, a student at the school did, and with the local health department keeping a close eye on contact tracing, the Dolphins were forced to cancel last Friday afternoon’s scheduled game against Westminster Christian.
“A number of them fall under the contact tracing umbrella,” Marathon Athletic Director Lance Martin said about the players on the football team. “We don’t have big numbers as it is, so with those that were forced out, it made it tough to play.”
It was to be Marathon’s first game away from the new sports complex on its campus, as they were scheduled to travel to Westminster Christian for a 4 p.m. kickoff.
“We have to err on the side of caution in this situation,” Martin said.
“It’s disappointing, no doubt,” said Dolphins coach Mac Childress, whose team has just three weeks left on the 2020 schedule following the cancelation.
If allowed to play next Friday, Marathon is scheduled to be at Archbishop Carroll, before closing out the season on the road against Palmer Trinity and Coral Shores.
During their last game, the Dolphins reached the end zone twice, a feat they did not accomplish until the seventh week of last season.
While it was an improvement, it was not enough to snap a losing streak that is now up to 16 games — dating to the end of the 2018 season — as Marathon fell 44-14 to Ransom Everglades on Oct. 23.
Both of the touchdowns came when senior Miguel Avena crossed the goal line, once rushing and once receiving. Avena also forced a fumble on defense.
“Improvements were made. We had more rushing yards and points than any other game this season,” Childress said.
The third-year Dolphins coach conveyed that in order to close the gap with their opponents — as Marathon has been outscored 178-20 on the season — areas of improvement that need to be focused on are self-inflicting penalties on offense and tackling on defense.