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A Washington County rivalry game between the Salem Lions and West Washington Senators high school football teams was to have played out tonight at Art Sanders Field. 

However, both schools have decided to cancel the game due to concerns over Covid-19 exposure and after consulting with the Washington County Health Department.

According to Salem Community School Board President Rodney Brough, both schools mutually decided to cancel the contest. 

West Washington Superintendent said it was a consensus decision that the playing of the game was not in the best interest of either team. 

“It is frustrating for both teams, but those responsible for our schools have to make the best decision possible for our children and school,” said Nance, who is also the West Washington Senator Head Coach. “I am afraid if people don’t start taking Covid seriously it could jeopardize a lot for our children, as students, as athletes and as young people growing and developing socially and emotionally.”

“With numbers being high, and given the current situation of both schools doing virtual learning, we decided it was the best thing to avoid any risk of sickness for the students, staff and fans,” said Brough. 

Salem had several staff members either test positive for Covid-19 or quarantine due to exposures over fall break. 

West Washington had a member of their custodial staff test positive for Covid-19 last week and several of their custodial staff have been quarantined as a result. 

West Washington went to a hybrid setting of two days a week of virtual learning from home. The school hopes to get back in the classroom by Oct. 26. 

Salem went to full virtual learning starting today and hopes to be back in school on Nov. 2.

Nance said after a discussion between the school administrations, athletic administrators and coaches, the decision was made to follow the consultation of the health department. 

“Although our communities love the rivalry between West Washington and Salem, both schools believe the safety of our players and the upcoming IHSAA tournament need to be our priority at this time,” Nance wrote in a press release. 

“This is a stark reminder that Covid has not gone away and that our communities need to take this seriously,” Nance indicated. 

“We ask that you do it for our schools and our children. Please continue to wear a face cover, frequently wash your hands, practice social distancing and keep your social circle small,” said Nance. 

West Washington is set to play at North Daviess for their sectional opener next Friday night. 

Salem will host Corydon next Friday night. 

Note – WSLM 1220 AM is playing a repeat of last year’s Salem vs. West Washington game. This is a pre-recorded game from last year and is not live.