Island Trees High School will forfeit its playoff football game against top-seeded Seaford Friday night after a coach and some players tested positive for COVID-19.
Island Trees athletic director Sean Burns informed Section VIII, which governs Nassau County athletics, of the decision Thursday afternoon.
“It’s unfortunate and absolutely the last call we wanted to make because we wanted to end our season on the field,” said Burns, in his sixth year as the director of athletics for the Island Trees School District. “Unfortunately, we had a few COVID cases arise today, and it was in the best interests of our players and our opponent at Seaford to not play the game.
“It was the last thing that we wanted to do. We have pride in our community and our team but it was the prudent thing to do.”
Island Trees finishes the season 4-4 after losing the season finale to Seaford, 42-0. The loss dropped them into the eighth and final seed for the postseason, setting up a rematch with Seaford.
“They had a coach and a few players test positive for COVID-19 over the past couple of days and decided not to play the game in Seaford,” said Matt McLees, who is the director of athletics for the Sewanhaka Central High School District and the Section VIII football coordinator. “I commend their administration and coaches for looking out [for] what’s in the best interest of their own players and Seaford’s players. It’s a tough decision, but I do believe it was the best decision for all involved.”
The undefeated Vikings (8-0) will advance into the semifinal round of the Nassau Conference IV playoffs at Hofstra University next week.
“I commend the effort of Sean Burns, the district’s director of athletics, for his diligence in handling a sensitive situation and making the prudent decision with safety as the number one priority in this time of COVID,” said Pat Pizzarelli, the executive director for Section VIII.