West Football Season in Jeopardy with Multiple Exposures and Game Cancellations


James Frankowiak and Josh Meyer

Last week on October 19, the New Berlin West football program was shut down due to a substantial amount of players having exposure to COVID-19 and being forced to quarantine. This lead to a lot of questions surrounding the remainder of the fall sports season, the upcoming winter sports season, and the status of New Berlin West as a whole. However, before these new issues, the football program was actually handling the COVID situation quite well, as only a couple players had been sidelined before this.


What We Know

We know that at least ten players have come in contact or have tested positive for COVID-19. However, Junior lineman Cole Fendrick indicated that only one player on the team has had to go through the quarantine routine for a second time, which shows how well the football team has handled the situation and stopped the spread prior to the “outbreak”. 

Athletic director Jordan Napoli said that in terms of the rest of the season, “We hope to get the team back on track and add the game back on the end of the season.” The next game is scheduled for November 6th against rival New Berlin Eisenhower. 

Senior lineman Jared Hendrichs said, “Coach was very insistent about always wearing a mask and staying spread out. Many of us players followed the rules regardless but it was always a good constant reminder to have ” so it can be assumed that protocols were followed thoroughly. 

It should be a reminder that these players are student-athletes and that the high number of quarantines not only affects football but also has a big impact on West’s student body. Since other schools have already been canceled and switched to full virtual, New Berlin West is in a solid position compared to other schools’ COVID issues. 


What We Don’t Know

Due to privacy laws, Head Coach Ben Chossek was unable to disclose certain bits of important information regarding specific players. He also couldn’t say how many players have been forced to quarantine, so it is still in the air if the Vikings will have the necessary amount of players to continue the season and compete at a high level. It’s not certain what exactly was the driving force for the high quarantines, so we can only speculate. 


What to Expect for the Rest of the Season

Moving forward, it is unclear how the rest of the season will finish out. As of right now, West is scheduled to face Eisenhower in what was supposed to be their final game of the regular season. However, as mentioned before, they are looking to reschedule their matchups that were canceled against Pewaukee and Catholic Memorial.

Henrichs also said that all the players are “optimistic that we can continue to play once we finish the quarantine,” and Coach Chossek mentioned that despite the players being frustrated and disappointed that COVID-19 keeps affecting daily life, he says that “we are all trying to stay positive [except on tests]” and “control the items that we are able to.” 

COVID cases have been very difficult to control for not just the football team, but our school and other schools in the southeast Wisconsin area. All they can do at this point is quarantine for the rest of this week and hope to play in the near future.