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Boys soccer: Season paused after positive COVID-19 case

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The Alexandria boys soccer team listens to the instruction of head coach Brandon Johnson during a practice in August. The Cardinal boys soccer varsity team had a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus that has put a pause on its season that started with a postponement of Tuesday night's game against St. Cloud Tech. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria boys soccer team was supposed to play the St. Cloud Tech Tigers in a Central Lakes Conference match on Tuesday night at Alexandria Area High School. Now the season has come to a halt.

AAHS Activities Director Ben Kvidt said on Tuesday that there has been one confirmed positive COVID-19 case on the Alexandria boys varsity soccer roster. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were no other confirmed cases.

“We are paused, but the season is not canceled,” Kvidt said. “We did have one positive test on the team, so we have taken some steps to try to isolate that as best as we can. The games and practices have been postponed for this week and next week. We’ll reschedule those, and once we are able to play again, we’ll be up and playing.”

A Negative COVID-19 test will not be required to return to play. While Kvidt said the school would encourage getting tested if a student is experiencing any symptoms, it’s up to the individual families to make that decision.

The entire varsity team will quarantine for two weeks and practice distance learning. Even if one of the players test negatively, he will not be allowed to return to the classroom for two weeks.

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Kvidt is also confident that the positive case did not come from an opponent in the first three games of the season.

“We were able to do some contact tracing, and it was not from another team,” Kvidt said. “It had nothing to do with competing, traveling or anything like that.”

Before the season, the program split itself into pods. Because of this isolation, the junior varsity and junior high teams are allowed to keep playing.

“The lower level teams will be able to practice,” Kvidt said. “One of the safety protocols we put into place was to put our teams into pods, specifically for this reason. If there were an outbreak, we could isolate it to a certain group of individuals while the rest would continue to practice because there was no exposure. At this point, it’s just varsity that’s on a pause. Our junior varsity and ‘B’ squad are able to practice.”

Before the fall season started, the AAHS activities department prepared for this situation.

“We were ready,” Kvidt said. “We had meetings with (activities directors) in our conference and throughout the state. The tricky part for us is that it happened Labor Day weekend. Communicating was a challenge, but we were able to get it out to our players and whatnot. It’s nice to have a plan in place for if this happens to our teams so we can do what we need to do.”

“It’s disappointing, but it’s nobody’s fault,” Kvidt said. “It happens. It’s disappointing because they want to get their season going and play all of their games. They’ve already lost games this year with the season reductions. You want them to play as much as possible, but at the end of the day, we all knew this was a possibility at the beginning of the season. We are thankful that we can play what we were able to play, take a little break here, and resume our season in a couple of weeks.”

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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