GREENFIELD — Greenfield High School football activities are back. The school briefly shut down its football operations after a close call with COVID-19 during a game.
The team was forced to shut down briefly after playing Cudahy on March 26. Members of Cudahy's team tested positive for the virus.
"To say they were disappointed was an understatement. It's a shortened season already,” said Greenfield Head Coach Keith Ringelberg.
Coach Ringelberg says none of his players ended up testing positive after the game.
He believes losing a week of play reminded his guys to be extra cautious both on and off the field.
Ringelberg said one of the hardest things was telling six players they couldn't play after coming in contact with other players who tested positive for the virus.
"It was the most difficult thing I have ever done in 35 years, and it was emotional,” Ringelberg said.
One of those six was star senior Skyler Gil-Howard, who is looking for those final opportunities to prepare for the next level of football.
"When practice was canceled, our game was canceled. I just didn't know what to do because I've been waiting a whole year for this,” Gil-Howard said.
As spring football continues, state medical officials say they're especially concerned about what's being considered the dominant variant of COVID-19, B-117, which they said is 50 percent more contagious and 60 percent more severe than other variants.
Experts believe younger carriers may be spreading it more than other variants.
"I think you can't deny that this is having a major effect, considering the increased contagiousness and severity,” said Dr. Ben Weston of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Milwaukee County is seeing an average of about 117 new cases daily. Gill-Howard said though he may be less at risk, he's being as careful as possible to protect others.
The football team moves forward with limited players in locker rooms and plans to take other safety measures to keep the season going.