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Orchard Lake St. Mary's cancels this week's game, recommends entire team quarantine

Tony Paul David Goricki
The Detroit News

The Orchard Lake St. Mary's football team is the latest program in Metro Detroit to cancel a game because of COVID-19.

St. Mary's will not play this week's game against U-D Jesuit after one player tested positive for the coronavirus.

George Porritt's Orchard Lake St. Mary's team won't play this week.

St. Mary's considered contract tracing to try and salvage the game, but ultimately decided the safest measure was to recommend quarantining the entire team. The decision has sent the entire school into remote learning starting this week, with 56 students and six teachers part of the football team.

“We had to cancel since we had one kid come down with COVID,” St. Mary’s coach George Porritt told The Detroit News. “His report came in Saturday morning after our game and he hadn’t been with the team for a few days, so that part was good. So we just have to go from that date and do what we have to do when we get back.”

This is Porritt’s 31st year as head coach at St. Mary’s and it has been his most challenging with COVID-19 in play. He has guided St. Mary’s to 13 state championship game appearances and seven state titles.

St. Mary’s, which won the Catholic League championship last year, is 1-3, 0-3 in the Catholic League Central Division.

“Everybody is trying their best and that’s all you can do,” he said. “But we’re playing and that’s the good part of it. The kids got games and then the playoffs, and we’ve got to keep these kids busy.

“I think there’s more to lose out on with kids being idle and isolated too long. I know we have a lot to worry about with COVID, but some of this other stuff scares me too with too much isolation and too much time on these young kids’ hands.

St. Mary’s will be in a competitive eight-team district that includes Birmingham Brother Rice and Chelsea. Brother Rice is 3-1, including a 10-7 win over St. Mary’s, and Chelsea is 4-0.

“We’re still looking forward to being in the playoffs even though we won’t have a good seed,” Porritt said. “We think we’ll be pretty healthy then.”

The MHSAA is playing a six-game fall football season, with every school that plays at least four games automatically advancing to the playoffs.

More: Detroit News high school football picks: Week 5

Last week, at least 17 games were canceled across the state, most because of COVID-19 concerns. There had been more than 20 games canceled in the first three weeks of the season. Those games go into the record books as 1-0 forfeits.

U-D Jesuit has played three games and is 1-2. It canceled last week's game against Detroit Loyola because an assistant tested positive for COVID-19.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984