Cedartown-Rockmart football

Cedartown’s Corben Cuzzort (1) attempts a leaping catch against Rockmart’s Deidric Gibson during last year’s Polk County rivalry game at Rockmart High School.

Polk County football fans will have to postpone bragging rights for at least another season as school leaders have decided to cancel this Friday’s Cedartown-Rockmart game.

The decision came Wednesday afternoon following an increase in COVID-19 cases among the Cedartown High School football team in recent days. Polk School District Superintendent Katie Thomas said the choice was not an easy one, but was one made with the students, staff and community in mind.

“We monitor our data very closely, not only for each school, but also any time several cases are reported at a single school,” Thomas said. “When that happens, we look into if we have cases that are related, such as by grade, or classes, or programs. In this instance we saw a pattern related to the Cedartown football program and had to make a decision that was in the best interest for the students who participate in the program and the fans who would be possibly at the game.”

Rockmart will instead travel to Villa Rica on Saturday to take on the Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s game was set to be held at Cedartown’s Doc Ayers Field and was a non-region game for both teams, meaning it will not affect either program’s standings for a spot in the state playoffs if it is not rescheduled.

Thomas said there is no plan to make up the rivalry game since both team’s regions have asked them to keep any open dates free in order to make up any postponed region contests later in the season. Cedartown plays in the Georgia High School Association’s Region 7-4A while Rockmart plays in Region 6-3A.

The effect of the decision has an impact on Cedartown’s future games as well.

The school district reported a current COVID positivity rate of 8.64% among the team on Wednesday. As such, the football program will suspend all practices and games for a 10-day period, which began Wednesday afternoon. Thomas confirmed that this also means Cedartown’s scheduled non-region game at Calhoun on Sept. 3 is canceled also.

Rockmart, meanwhile, is will start early preparations for its first of two bye weeks since the Jackets are not scheduled to play again until Sept. 10. That will be Rockmart’s Homecoming game as they are scheduled to host region foe Coahulla Creek at The Rock.

Thomas said fans who have already purchased tickets for this Friday’s canceled game between Cedartown and Rockmart should check each school’s Facebook page to get refund information.

Full statement from PSD Superintendent Dr. Katie Thomas:

“Out of an abundance of caution and concern, the Cedartown vs. Rockmart game will not be played Friday, August 27. Based on current COVID numbers and pending test results affecting the Cedartown High School football team, we feel that it would be irresponsible to move forward. While Cedartown High School’s positivity rate remains low at 1.26%, the football team has a current positivity rate of 8.64%. As such, the football program will suspend practices and games for a ten-day period beginning this afternoon. These decisions are never easy but are always made in the best interest of the safety of our students, staff, and in this case, the Polk County community. We appreciate your understanding and partnership.”

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