Washington prepares for championship game without many players

By: Brandon Lewis Email
By: Brandon Lewis Email

Washington High School held its practice as usual on Tuesday, except between 30 and 40 players did not attend due to illness. Wednesday 20 players missed school and practice.

"I come in everyday now I get my absent list for who's tardy or who's missing school and it's two pages long," said Panther's coach Antwon Jones.

Washington is one of the only high schools reporting many athlete absences. Even with many football players home sick, overall the school absence record is holding below the 20 percent threshold, when the health department would need to be notified.

"I know a lot of athletes share water bottles, we do not recommend that at all," Kelly Jolliff with the St. Joseph County Health Department said. "Not sharing water bottles, or towels or razors or anything of that nature, really trying to contain the spread as best as possible."

Jones said he's echoing the message to his players.

"Stay away from everybody and just go get home and get yourself better," Jones said he told his sick players.

Some players were able to attend school, but then were sent home after they were unable to practice.

"It's a pretty dangerous thing, I had to send three kids home yesterday at the start of practice and then when we went into weight lift I had to send another two home," said Jones.

The Panthers play Mishawaka in the Northern Indiana Championship game on Friday.

Jones said he would rather have players sick for the NIC, instead of the playoffs so the team can continue to advance.

"We definitely want to win an NIC championship, and I think we definitely can, its just one of those deals where if its gonna happen, I'd rather it happen this week than next week," Jones said.


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