Clay High volleyball, football games canceled due to potential COVID-19 exposure

Clay is the first school in the area to have to postpone a football game due to COVID-19 quarantine guidelines.

CLAY COUNTY, FLa. – Members of the Clay High School football and volleyball teams are under quarantine to potential exposure of COVID-19, the district announced on Wednesday.

Clay varsity and junior varsity football players can return Oct. 1, according to the Florida Department of Health-Clay County. Varsity and junior varsity volleyball players can return Oct. 8.

It is the first game that an area team has had to call off due to COVID-19 quarantine or positive tests since the regular season began on Aug. 24. St. Johns Country Day in Clay County canceled its season on Sept. 9 due to numerous factors, including the delayed start and other factors associated with the pandemic. The Spartans' middle school team is still competing.

The football team’s Friday game at Palatka canceled. The Blue Devils were scheduled to play the Panthers for Palatka’s homecoming. Palatka (0-3) was able to quickly find a replacement. The Panthers will now host East Lake.

In a statement, the Clay County School District said, "The Florida Department of Health - Clay County has recommended the quarantine of all individuals on the Clay High Varsity and JV Football Teams and the Clay High Varsity and JV Volleyball Teams due to the potential exposure to positive COVID-19 cases. Out of an abundance of caution for student athletes' health and safety, the District is following the Florida Department of Health - Clay County’s recommendation.”

It affects roughly 100 players, according to the district.

Brian Wilson’s son is on the school’s baseball team and understands how COVID-19 concerns can impact a season.

“In today’s time, you have to take the necessary precautions to make sure that everyone stays safe,” he said.

The volleyball cancellations wiped out six games listed on the Blue Devils' schedule. The volleyball regular season ends on Oct. 10.

Clay has had a major turnaround on the football field this year, starting out 2-0 after going 1-9 last season.

Clay’s next football game is Oct. 1 at Gainesville Eastside.

About the Authors:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.

Reports weekdays and anchors The Morning Show on Saturdays and Sundays