Updated, Sept. 4: Lakeview Academy in Gainesville canceled its home football game Friday, Sept. 4, after two coaches showed symptoms of COVID-19. School officials said Friday the coaches have tested negative for the virus, but the game remains canceled.
Head of School Kirsty Montgomery announced the cancellation to the school community in an email on Wednesday, Sept. 2, when the school had not yet announced COVID-19 test results. She said then that no football players were believed to be exposed to the virus and no one would need to quarantine.
“We know that this news is incredibly disappointing for the players, and their disappointment is shared by all of us,” she said of the game cancellation. “The unanimous decision, made by the football coaching staff, athletics director, school nurse and senior school administration, was not made lightly.”
Montgomery said Friday’s game was canceled out of an abundance of caution for the “health and safety of our school community and that of the visiting team.
Football practice will continue under the supervision of members of Lakeview’s staff and faculty, she said.
A decision on Lakeview’s Sept. 11 away game will be made by Monday, Sept. 7, according to the school.
“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. “The players showed incredible fortitude and leadership … on receiving the news, and I promised them (and I promise you) that we will get through this together.”
The school will also postpone a ribbon cutting on its new athletics facility, which broke ground in March. A new date has not yet been set, according to DeAnna Browne, a school spokeswoman.
The $3 million project includes a new stadium with a turf field, which will host football and soccer games, as well as an eight-lane track and a stadium plaza, The Times previously reported. New LED stadium lights, a state-of-the-art sound system, new scoreboards, restrooms, concession and storage areas are also included. The project tripled the former facility's seating capacity.
A new date for the complex's ribbon cutting has not yet been set.