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Catoctin High School’s football program has canceled practices until next Wednesday because someone involved with the team tested positive for COVID-19.

Like other Frederick County Public Schools fall teams, the Cougars were allowed to start practicing Saturday for the upcoming six-week season. But those plans have been put on hold.

“An individual who is involved with Catoctin High School’s football program has reported testing positive for COVID-19,” Catoctin athletic director Keith Bruck wrote in an email to the News-Post. “Those who were determined to be close contacts were advised to quarantine; that does not include any of our student-athletes.

“As a result of the quarantines and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to cancel practices until next Wednesday,” he wrote.

This move comes after some FCPS basketball teams, including boys varsity teams from Tuscarora, Brunswick and Middletown, shut down during the abbreviated winter season that concluded last weekend.

After having their fall season postponed until spring by the coronavirus pandemic, Catoctin football players have been looking forward to playing for the first time since they beat Dunbar 31-8 in the Class 1A state championship game on Dec. 7, 2019.

With returnees such as standout running back Carson Sickeri and quarterback Ryan Orr, the Cougars had hopes of repeating after capturing their second state crown before the fall season got wiped out.

“I definitely felt like we had a good chance this year, if we would’ve had a season,” Sickeri said during an interview last week. “But sadly that got taken away from us.”

Instead, he said the Cougars would shift their focus on trying to be the top team in the county, and players like him and Orr were grateful for a chance to salvage some sort of season after the shutdown.

“It’s definitely going to be different,” Orr said last week, before fall teams could start practicing. “The weather’s going to be reversed [from fall], it’s going to be cold at first and then hot at the end. But I think it’s a great opportunity.”

Catoctin’s first varsity football game is scheduled for March 5 against Middletown at Frederick High School.

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