McQuaid: ‘Ready to play’ postponed game Tuesday despite pending court case over vaccine dispute
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — McQuaid Jesuit High School says its football team is ready to play in a previously postponed game Tuesday, even as the school prepares for a court case related to the game.
Though as of Monday, the court hearing on the McQuaid playoff football game has been moved from Wednesday morning to Tuesday morning. The game is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday night.
To bring you up to speed, the game between the Knights and Bennett High School out of Buffalo was called off over the weekend due to COVID concerns. McQuaid tells us several members tested positive for the virus during the week.
The night before the game, the Erie County Department of Health said only vaccinated people could play. McQuaid says team members were on the buses ready to go when they got the news. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted Saturday night saying a meeting with multiple agencies including here in Monroe County and an order from NYSPHAA was the deciding factor to call off the game due to a COVID outbreak on the Rochester team.
McQuaid went to court and got a restraining order so its players could play regardless of vaccine status.
Getting up to speed on the situation w/McQuaid football & the state playoff game vs. Buffalo Bennett. Here is part of the petition filed on behalf of McQ Saturday. A basic complaint: the rule applied to McQ by the Erie Co. Health Dept did not apply to Buffalo Bennett. @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/4xRkboubwz— Berkeley Brean (@whec_bbrean) November 22, 2021
In a release Monday, the school says the school said barring any "further developments" it is looking forward to sending a healthy team to Buffalo. The statement went on to say all players received five negative COVID tests since last Thursday, including tests Monday morning.
The McQuaid vs Buffalo Bennett football game is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday PM in Williamsville. The in-person court hearing on the McQuaid petition isn’t scheduled until Wednesday AM. It was transferred to a different supreme court justice in Erie County. @news10nbc— Berkeley Brean (@whec_bbrean) November 22, 2021
It says additional tests will be given Tuesday morning.
Dr. Kriner Cash, the BPS Superintendent said Sunday evening:
“We have seen a highly disturbing precedent occur with the Bennett/McQuaid football contest case. To date, it does not embody a spirit of equity, fairness, and good sportsmanship. The game clearly should have been forfeited due to the significant Covid-19 outbreak on the McQuaid team. Health and safety must always be the first priority for everyone. Neither BPS nor NYSPHSAA have been privy to the injunction documents allegedly filed with the Court. If this case is not heard tomorrow or Tuesday morning and properly resolved, we will call an urgent press conference and invite all relevant local and state authorities to stand with us. This is fast unfolding as a racial injustice and inequity issue. I will not tolerate, under any circumstance, victimizing and discounting our student-athletes when they have followed all the rules pursuant to this matter. As a District, we are fully prepared to take immediate appellate action to ensure a safe, fair, and just outcome.”
In its Monday statement, McQuaid said it found Cash’s statement "unfortunate." It went on to say the school is staying in "regular communication" with the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Section V officials, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, and the Buffalo Public School District.
News10NBC is continuing to track the story. It’s not clear if Tuesday’s game will continue as scheduled with the pending court date.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz made the below comment on the game during a press conference Monday (mobile users, click here):