Friday September 18th, 2020 6:57PM

Football: Lakeview Academy cancels home opener

By AccessWDUN Staff

GAINESVILLE — Lakeview Academy Head of School Kristy Montgomery confirmed the cancellation of Friday night's football game against Mt. Paran in an email Thursday morning.

"This morning, coach (Lee) Shaw, John Simpson and I met with the football team to explain the difficult decision to cancel this Friday’s home football game," the email said. "We know that this news is incredibly disappointing for the players, and their disappointment is shared by all of us. The unanimous decision, made by the football coaching staff, athletics director, school nurse and senior school administration, was not made lightly." 

Montgomery explained that two football coaches are "exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and have been or will be tested for the virus." Neither coach has been confirmed positive and no players have been exposed to the virus or need to quarantine, according to Montgomery.

"Friday’s game has been canceled out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our school community and that of the visiting team," she said. 

The Lions were set to kick off in their new stadium, and a ribbon-cutting to celebrate it on Friday morning also was postponed. It also marked the return of Shaw to the sidelines after coming out of retirement to lead the Lions in February. 

“COVID-19 issues took a game from us, but it can’t take away our desire," Shaw said. "This team has proven to be resilient. The seniors have really taken a strong leadership role because of this adversity. This setback has not changed our ultimate goal for this season, to make the playoffs for the first time."

The players will continue to practice under the supervision of staff and faculty. Montgomery also said a decision on the Sept. 11 game at Darlington will be made no later than Monday.

"I will do everything to support Lakeview Academy’s football program during this global pandemic while also maintaining the health and safety of the Lakeview Community," Montgomery said in the email. "The players showed incredible fortitude and leadership this morning on receiving the news, and I promised them (and I promise you) that we will get through this together."

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