The Morris football program has been shut down until further notice after a player tested positive for COVID-19.
The Morris football program has been shut down until further notice after a player tested positive for COVID-19. — Dan Voitik

MORRIS — The Morris football program had its activity suspended Wednesday after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to Morris Community High School families, superintendent Dr. Craig Ortiz said:

"We have just been informed that one of our football players has tested positive for COVID-19. Additional details regarding quarantine requirements will be forthcoming to the football team and impacted families.

"Effective immediately, the football program is suspended until further notice."

The Redskins had been doing weightlifting and conditioning drills under the IHSA guidelines, limiting group sizes to 10 or fewer, requiring each player to have their temperature taken before entering the building and answering a questionnaire regarding COVID-19 symptoms.

Morris coach Alan Thorson said that the player in question's last day at a practice was Tuesday, July 14. According to guidelines, the quarantine period is 14 days.

"Our first consideration is that we want our players to be healthy," Thorson said. "It was probably unavoidable. The school and the coaching staff did everything we could to keep everyone safe. It was something that happened outside of football.

"We are going to do everything by the book and do what the guidelines tell us. Our trainer, Nikki Meyer, and our school nurse, Tracy Steffes, have been working with us, along with the Grundy County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. The safety of all of our players is our first concern.

"We really hope that it isn't something that is going to go through the whole team. We are following the rules and they say that if one player gets infected, then we shut things down, and that's what we've done. Now, all we are concerned about is for that player to get healthy and hope no one else gets it."

Thorson said that the freshman team, which had been practicing separately from the varsity, will also shut down until further notice.

"The freshmen had been doing everything outside," he said. "They were never in the building with the varsity. But, we are going to shut everything down to be as safe as we can be."