Like others before them, the St. Charles Catholic Comets tried to find a replacement opponent for a game cancelled because of COVID-19.
Just like others before them, the task of finding someone willing to play ultimately proved unworkable.
“There were not many people out there who were available,” Comets coach Frank Monica said. “Once you get to a certain point during the week, you can’t prepare, and you certainly don’t want get out there and halfway prepare for an opponent.”
“With COVID out, a lot of people are not playing intentionally to avoid that,” the St. Charles coach continued. “That’s not our case. We just couldn’t find the right matchup. We made a few calls early, but we didn’t find out until late that we were not going to have a game.
The Comets were slated to host Cohen on Friday in a District 11-2A game. After not scoring a point this season in four games and losing 76-0 a week ago against Newman, Cohen opted not to play Friday’s game against SCC.
“It was a district foe, but they (the Green Hornets) were really down on players. They got a couple of kids hurt in the previous game. They started the season with 16 guys. The benefit of playing a game like that would not have been productive at all,” said Monica.
Friday’s game, which was slated to be Senior Night, would have been only the second home game of the season for the Comets.
“It was disappointing about the Senior Night, but that’s something we can always make it up. We will find time to make that up. Our senior night is not just for the football team. It’s for all fall sports,” Monica said.
The cancelled game, coupled with an opening-round bye, means the Comets will be off for two weeks.
“We will use this time to try and get better,” Monica said. “We will make some personnel changes and try to see who can help us in other areas and cultivate some depth. For the next couple of weeks, we have another bye week. Thanksgiving week we used to have some time off. We will try to strengthen our team and get healthy. Healthy in a lot of ways – mostly mentally. We had a tough season, playing some real good competition.”
It possibly could have been a three-week break if not for recent decision by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
“We will not have three weeks off. The LHSAA has rescinded that. We will have one week of byes and that’s next week. We will play the Friday following Thanksgiving,” said Monica.
For one of the few times that anyone can recall, the Comets will not be practicing on Thanksgiving morning.
“Our goal is always to be practicing Thanksgiving morning. This one year we won’t be practicing Thanksgiving morning, which is a good thing. It means you have a bye because everything has been pushed back. This normally is a quarterfinal game the week of Thanksgiving,” Monica said.
Monica said the Comets will use the unexpected time out to catch up on things they missed out before the season even stared.
“We missed the camp we (normally) have at the beginning of the year,” the St. Charles coach said. “That was a lot of meeting time that we missed. It wasn’t so much the practice time or on-field experience. It was meeting time on the board with x’s and o’s. All those were things we missed because of the pandemic. Hopefully, we can get some of that back.
“Even now, we are talking about things that we never did cover at the beginning of the year that have come up in games. We missed that early process. Hopefully, we can make some of that up in the next couple of weeks.”