As if four two-way starters getting injured in the first game of the delayed, shortened season wasn’t a tough enough blow for the Edgemont football team, one day prior to their second game of the season a player reported testing positive for COVID-19, sending most of the team into a 10-day quarantine and canceling the next two games against Albertus Magnus and Irvington.
Players who don’t test positive or show symptoms during quarantine can return to the football field for practice on Tuesday, April 6, according to athletic director Anthony DeRosa. The Panthers hope to be able to play their Week 4 game Friday, April 9, at home against Croton-Harmon. The game could be moved to Saturday if the team needs more time to prepare. “We’ll talk to the coaches and see how they feel if we need the extra day,” DeRosa said.
DeRosa spent much of late Friday, March 26, contact tracing and informing families once he found out about the positive test from coach Brendan Connolly just before practice. The team had last been together the day before for practice, so the quarantine period began that Friday.
“It’s going to be like what we did all offseason where they work out on their own and they can do what they can in their house with what they have and make the best of the situation,” Connolly said. “It’s not an ideal scenario, but it’s the world we’re living in. We’ll do the best with what we’ve got.”
Connolly said that it happening now is “maybe a little bit of a silver lining” to give the team some time to heal from some of the injuries and hopefully finish out the season strong. “You just don’t want it to happen,” he said. “The kids are very upset because they want to play. They were waiting months to have the opportunity for the season and the day before a game it’s tough to find out they can’t play. We knew it was a possibility and unfortunately it happened.”
Over the winter, boys swim had to quarantine due to an Ardsley swimmer testing positive and wrestling had one pod quarantine. Otherwise Edgemont has had a relatively smooth experience since sports began again in late September.
Following opening day injuries to quarterback senior Kirk Gialleonardo and backup sophomore Milan Gialleonardo against Briarcliff, senior Jake Rosen, who hadn’t played the position since elementary school, stepped up to finish out the game.
“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” Rosen said. “I messed up on the first play, but once I got the first play out of the way I started to be more comfortable and I had a better idea of what I had to do to put the team in the best spot on offense at the time.”
After a week of practice at the helm, Rosen felt confident that he and other teammates who were stepping into new roles would be ready for Albertus Magnus.
“It was definitely different for a lot of people,” he said. “We had to cut down on the penalties and the playbooks were limited and the defense had to be changed up a bit. We knew it was going to be different, but we knew we’d be prepared for the game despite being short-handed in key positions. I think we did a decent job during the week preparing with what we had.”
Then to find out the next two games had to be scrapped was another crushing setback for the Panthers. “It’s very disappointing,” Rosen said. “It’s been a year and a half since we played a normal season.”
Rosen looks forward to returning to practice, where he expects the team to go “100%” in order to be prepared for the final two regular season games and hopefully a playoff game. “You never know what’s going to happen next, so you make the most out of every play,” he said.
While Kirk Gialleonardo is out for the season, Milan Gialleonardo is expected to be back to face Croton-Harmon, but Rosen said he would be ready for whatever role the team needs. “Even though I didn’t get to play this weekend, I got to practice this week in case God forbid anything happens to Milan again,” Rosen said. “I’ll be ready to step in if I’m needed.”