As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across Douglas County and Minnesota right now, there are inevitably going to be sports teams at the high school level that feel the effects of that.
Brandon-Evansville football is one of those teams. The Chargers had to withdraw from the Section 4, 9-man playoffs that start this week due to positive COVID cases within the team.
“We had a kid that got dinged a little bit. We thought he had an injury, and it turned out he went in and got tested and had COVID,” B-E head coach Tim Pattrin said on Monday morning. “I film all the practices, so we were able to contact trace. We were just going to have to quarantine a couple kids, and we were going to be able to play. Then right after I got off the phone with getting all that stuff squared away, we had another kid say he has symptoms. We just had to shut it down because we had a couple kids show up with it.”
The whole Brandon-Evansville school district in grades K-12 will go to distance learning starting on Thursday of this week after a spike of COVID cases. This is a decision by administrators and not a forced move to distance learning, so as of Monday the Brandon-Evansville volleyball team will be allowed to play out its schedule, head coach Kelly Olson said.
The B-E football team was 3-3 in the regular season after a couple of losses to Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (3-3) and Hancock (6-0) to end the year.
“You’re disappointed when you don’t get to compete in the playoffs,” Pattrin said. “We struggled toward the end of the year, but we felt we were doing some good things and could clean up some mistakes.”
The Chargers were expecting to get the fourth seed in the section and to host a home playoff game before having to drop out of the postseason.
“For the young kids, (the message) is you got to learn to deal with adversity,” Pattrin said. “Things happen out of your control, and you need to focus on the things you can control. They can control working out in the offseason. They can control playing other sports. They can control doing the right things on and off the field, so it’s really focusing on savoring every minute you get. It goes by quick, and really enjoy that you get to play.”
Pattrin was disappointed for his seniors not getting a chance to play in the postseason.
“I feel really bad for them that it ended this way, but they did get a season,” he said. “They were able to play and get some memories, and they had some good memories. We’re going to miss them. They did a lot for our program.”
The Chargers came into the year as an inexperienced team after losing so many fixtures to graduation from 2019. Finishing at .500 is a stepping stone to what Pattrin hopes is a more normal 2021 season next fall.
“We have some pieces in place that make us a pretty good football team,” Pattrin said. “Before the season, we were really young. Even our seniors, it was their first year starting. The future is bright if we do the right things. Next year is really looking up.”