COVID-19 concerns at Chattahoochee County put Friday’s game with Manchester in doubt


The superintendent of Meriwether County schools tells News 3 that the Georgia Department of Public Health has recommended that Friday night’s Manchester-Chattahoochee County football game be postponed because of COVID-19 concerns at Chatt Co.

The principal of Chattahoochee County tells News 3 that the game will be played as scheduled.

“This game qualifies for postponement, but both parties have to agree on it,” said Hayla Folden, a spokesperson for Georgia Department of Public Health, District 4.

The sides are not agreeing on anything. And the Region 5-A Public game could have an impact on postseason play.

“If Manchester is planning to forfeit the game, that’s up to them,” Chattahoochee County Middle-High School Principal Josh Kemp tells News 3. “Chattahoochee County is planning to play is ready to play.”

That is not how Meriwether County Superintendent Dr. Robert Griffin sees it.

“Per a conversation I had with Xavier Crockett of the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Manchester football game at Chatt Co on Friday, 10/2/2020 will be postponed due to COVID related matters,” Griffin told News 3. “The Manchester football coach and I plan to communicate with the superintendent and Head football coach at Chatt Co regarding how this postponement will be addressed.”

Chatt Co Coach Head Coach Pierre Coffey told News 3 earlier in the day they were playing.

“Friday night there will be a football game right here in Cusseta, Georgia,” Coffey said. “And it’s versus Manchester, absolutely.”

This comes as the Chattahoochee County High School football team has been battling COVID-19 on the way to 2-0 record. 

At least two Panther football players have tested positive for COVID-19 and Manchester is expressing concerns about the road trip to Cusseta.  The Meriwether County superintendent asked the Georgia Department of Public Health for word if they should play this week. 

The Georgia Department of Public Health began communicating with Chattahoochee County School superintendent Dr. Kristie Brooks.

Coffey says Chatt Co had a player test positive after the September 11th win at Shaw. They shut down practice on Sept. 15th and resumed on Monday. Coffey tells News 3 in the nearly two weeks his team did not practice. They stayed together through Zoom meetings. 

The Sept. 25th game against Pacelli was canceled. 

“An extreme preventative call,” Brooks said of the Pacelli game. “And it was a call that I felt like we needed to make. And it was actually one of the most challenging calls to make to cancel a football game in a good season.” 

A second player is now positive and won’t play this week. 

“For confidentiality, I can’t say the kid or the number,” Coffey said.

Brooks also declined to be more specific.

“I can’t reveal that because we are so small it would allow you to know who the students are,” Brooks said.

There have been seven reported cases in the Chattahoochee School system K-12, Brooks said.

The superintendent wants football back. 

“Small southern town,” Brooks said. “That’s what we look forward to, bringing in the community, having some school spirit, and just bringing people back together and have Panther pride. 

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