It was supposed to be the biggest game in recent Bonner-Prendergast High School football history.
Now it’s gone.
Bonner-Prendergast (3-0), the No. 7 team in The Inquirer’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Top 10, was ruled out of the PIAA Class 4A state tournament Wednesday after a player tested positive for the coronavirus.
“It’s such a tough day for our guys,” Bonner-Prendergast coach Jack Muldoon said. “These kids, they’ve been through so much. I don’t know how many more gut punches they can take.”
Bonner-Prendergast, which has outscored opponents, 97-7, was scheduled to host Upper Moreland on Friday night in a District 12/District 1 subregional, the first home state playoff game in program history.
Archbishop Ryan (0-3) will replace the Friars and visit Upper Moreland (4-1) this weekend, according to Cardinal O’Hara athletic director B.J. Hogan, the Catholic League’s football chairman.
Muldoon said he informed the team during a meeting in the school gymnasium on Wednesday morning.
“We’re hybrid, so only half of them were in school,” Muldoon said. “We had about 22 of them there, and they were just stunned. I don’t think they said two words. They just couldn’t believe it.”
Muldoon said his team was excited to host a state playoff game.
“This was such a big deal for us,” Muldoon said. “They were ready. They were so ready. I think they could have played today. We had two great practices" Monday and Tuesday.
Muldoon said players and coaches will quarantine for two weeks. The team will be allowed to return to the practice field on Nov. 16.
Muldoon said he hoped to arrange games for the weekends of Nov. 20 and Nov. 27.
“I told this kids that this probably was the hardest thing I ever had to tell anybody, outside of a real tragedy," Muldoon said. “This group, this senior group, they came through the whole program, and they were so excited to have this game here on Friday night.”