Tucson High School Sports

Buena-Salpointe Football Game Postponed Until Oct. 23 Because Lancer Tested Positive for COVID-19

Salpointe’s game with Buena scheduled Friday at Ed Doherty Stadium has been postponed until Oct. 23, according to athletic director Phil Gruensfelder, after one of the Lancers tested positive for COVID-19.

Families were sent an e-mail from Salpointe today about the development. The Lancers will not practice for the next 12 days while the player is under quarantine and the other players get tested and results come back.

The freshmen and junior varsity teams at Salpointe will continue to play.

“We all kind of knew something like this can happen,” Gruensfelder said. “It’s just you do the right thing and you take care of the students and adjust and make sure that they’re healthy mentally and physically. It’s just a speed bump.

“We’ll get over it and we’ll be back (practicing) on Oct. 17.”

Salpointe’s game at Phoenix Pinnacle on Oct. 16 has been canceled.

Treyson Bourguet celebrates a TD pass against Casa Grande last week. Photo by Troy Hutchison (All Sports Tucson)

Gruensfelder said he hopes that when the region representatives meet tomorrow to discuss scheduling of local high schools that two games for Salpointe are filled.

The Lancers presently have four games in 2020 — their season opener last week against Casa Grande (in which they won 29-21), Oct. 23 against Buena, Nov. 6 at home against Mountain Ridge and Nov. 20 at Desert Mountain.

“We need to pick up five games so we can qualify for the state tournament,” Gruensfelder said. “Hopefully some of the Tucson schools will be able to play and we can pick up a couple from them and maybe have five or six games.”

Buena won its season opener at San Tan Valley Combs 33-20 last week after not knowing it would play that game until last Tuesday. Combs’ game with Cave Creek Cactus Shadows was postponed early in the week because one of the Cactus Shadows players tested positive for COVID-19. Buena reached out and Combs obliged.

Buena coach Joe Thomas (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The Colts will try to scramble again for an opponent Friday.

“We’re looking at getting in touch with some teams,” said Buena coach Joe Thomas, who had to break away early from practice today to call athletic directors and coaches. “Sandra Day O’Connor or Paradise Valley are possibilities. We’re trying to see if teams cancel and something opens up.”

Buena’s schedule includes Oct. 23 at Salpointe and a game at Casa Grande on Oct. 30, so the Colts must add two games to their schedule to reach the qualifying five games for the state playoffs.

“Our team was excited to play at Salpointe on Friday, but something like this could have been expected,” Thomas said. “We always thought there were teams we would play that would have to cancel.

“We’re not surprised that it happened. Of course, we didn’t want to be one of those teams that get canceled on but that’s what it is right now. We want to make sure we can get another game and then see if we can get somebody else.”

In the letter sent to Salpointe parents obtained by AllSportsTucson.com, the administration mentioned the school now has three positive COVID-19 cases among their 1,263 students.

“The Pima County Health Department is aware of this case and is conducting contact tracing,” the letter states about the infected football player. “If the Health Department determines that this individual has had close contact with any other person(s) in our community, the Health Department will contact the potentially exposed person(s).

“The Health Department will notify any person(s) who may have been exposed. Nurse stays in touch with parents over the next two weeks. Nurse informs the student’s counselor of COVID positive test. Student’s counselor informs the student’s teachers.”


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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