Trumbull County coaches, players hope for continued season following COVID changes

Local News

This comes after a rapid rise in cases. Forty-eight percent have come in the past three weeks

MCDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – A big development Tuesday in the response to COVID-19. The Trumbull County Health Department issuing a stay-at-home health advisory through December 22.

This comes after a rapid rise in cases. Forty-eight percent have come in the past three weeks.

The positivity rate has gone from 2.7% to 11.5% in four weeks, and hospitals are near capacity.

The advisory asked people to stay at home to the greatest extent possible.

It’s in effect until Dec. 22, which is two consecutive incubation periods for COVID-19.

All schools in Trumbull County will go remote at least until Jan. 4, and all practicing of sports has been suspended until Dec. 22.

In February, the McDonald Girls basketball team celebrated its first district Championship in 12 years. All of the starters were back this year and it was supposed to be McDonald’s year but now the season has been suspended.

“As a matter of fact, I talked to a couple of them after they were crying a little bit,” said Coach Tony Matisi.

Matisi is disappointed but not surprised.

“It was in the back of our minds. I knew we were hanging by a thread. The last two weeks have been crazy. Every time the phone rings, I thought this is it,” he said.

Craig Hannon is the head boys basketball coach at Girard. He said the news is upsetting but is hopeful for a season down the road.

“We had a little meeting with our kids. They are upset, but they are hoping that maybe this will help curb some of the numbers, and then, eventually, we can get back to athletics at some point,” Hannon said. “If this break helps the numbers go down and helps us play even a small amount of games, we would take it.”

McDonald had a game Monday night. The team won and played well, which made the news even harder.

“I called my two coaches. The first thing both of them said was I wish we hadn’t played at all because we played well last night, and we saw what we could do,” Matisi said.

Taking the time to isolate in the hopes of driving down numbers is something both coaches hope will give them gack their season.

“If this can solve the problem, and we get a nice month here and get healthy and still have a partial season and tournaments, I am all for it.”

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