By Mike Deak
GOSHEN – The hits keep coming for Elkhart County football teams.
The COVID-19 virus has found its way to the Goshen High School football program, where one of its athletes tested positive. Consequently, the team has now gone into quarantine and will miss two weeks of activities.
With the announcement came the expected announcements that Goshen will lose its week three and four opponents, Mishawaka and NorthWood.
The Mishawaka contest for this Friday was set to be the first-ever Northern Lakes Conference contest for the Cavemen, which spent over 90 years in the Northern Indiana Conference before joining the NLC in 2020. Mishawaka athletic director Dean Huppert issued a statement Wednesday evening.
“At this point, we don’t have a game scheduled for Friday night, but we are looking at all options,” said Huppert. “We’ve called a number of schools across the northern part of the state. We’ve also explored playing the RedHawks in Week 10 since both teams have a bye in the 5A Sectional. So far, that is not an option with the IHSAA.” Mishawaka has looked at playing schools in neighboring states, but Michigan and Illinois aren’t playing football yet, and there hasn’t been a team in Ohio with an open date within a reasonable distance. “The clock is obviously ticking. Our boys want to play. But it has to be the right situation.”
NorthWood did not issue a formal statement Wednesday evening, but will also be looking for an opponent for week four.
Goshen was one of seven Elkhart County schools that did not compete in week one because of the Elkhart County Health Department’s decision to suspend football activities until Aug. 24 on an advisement of heightened COVID cases in the county. That decision eliminated week one games, and Goshen returned to action in week two, earning a 43-6 win at South Bend Clay Friday night.
Mishawaka dealt with its own viral issues in the summer as coach Keith Kinder was among those who went into quarantine and NorthWood also had issues within its athletic programs during points of the summer.