Virus: Louisiana school goes online, forfeits soccer playoffs

HOUMA, La. (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak has sent a Louisiana school back to online-only learning, forcing it to forfeit playoff games for both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams.

The state health department recommended closing in-person classes at H.L. Bourgeois High School based both on the number of COVID-19 cases and contact tracing that found possible exposures at the school, Terrebonne Parish Superintendent of Schools Philip Martin told The Courier.

With a Mardi Gras break scheduled Feb. 15-19, students are scheduled to return to campus Feb. 22. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association website shows Friday as the girls’ soccer playoffs first-round deadline, with Feb. 11 for the boys.

“It is not fair for these boys to have to go through this and end their year this way,” boys coach Travis Dupre said.

The boys’ team was the tournament’s 18th seed; the girls were seeded 29th in their tournament.

Girls coach Kevan Keiser said, “We would have liked to take COVID tests and let those who tested negative have an opportunity to play and not just shut us down without discussing with the team.”

“It hurts especially for my senior players, but hopefully we can all learn some life lessons from this on how to enjoy the journey and play every game like it’s your last one,” Keiser said.

As of Friday, the state Department of Health reported 863 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total to 409,861. In addition, 32 deaths were reported, bringing that total to 9,076.

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