LEBANON, Ohio — The Lebanon at Springboro high school football game scheduled for this Friday night has been canceled due to a recent increase in Lebanon student-athletes unavailable to compete, including one position group.
"While no players are COVID-positive at this time, several football student-athletes are in quarantine due to contact tracing (per the health department)," the Lebanon athletic department said in a statement Monday morning.
The junior varsity game scheduled for Saturday at Lebanon is canceled. The freshman game will still be played.
Springboro athletic director Austin Rhoads said Springboro, a member of the Greater Western Ohio Conference, is actively looking for a Week 1 opponent.
"We want to try to give our football players, cheerleaders, marching band, and community members the opportunity to enjoy Week 1 of high school football," Rhoads told WCPO in an email.
The Lebanon athletic department said in a statement that as always, the health, safety and welfare of its student-athletes, coaches and staff is the No. 1 priority.
"It is very disappointing that we will not be opening our 2021 season this Friday," the Lebanon athletic department said in a statement.
"Our heart goes out first and foremost to all of the Lebanon and Springboro student-athletes who have been through so much since the pandemic began and worked so hard under difficult circumstances to prepare themselves to perform. They have done so well following protocols, but as we are finding out first-hand, playing football during this time continues to be a fragile situation."
The Ohio high school football season starts across the state this week. There are 712 Ohio high school football teams expected to participate in 11-player competition this fall, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Lebanon, a member of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, is scheduled to play host to Miamisburg Aug. 27 in a non-conference game.