Bucs, Hens cancel due to virus

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the local sports schedule.

At Milford High, officials canceled the Buccaneers’ next two football games on Tuesday after a positive virus test in the program.

And, in Newark, the University of Delaware has paused all men’s basketball activities due to positive tests,

Milford’s cancellations affect Thursday’s Henlopen North game with Smyrna as well as its matchup with rival Lake Forest the following week.

The Battle of the Bell contest was slated to be played on Thanksgiving Day morning for the first time in about 50 years.

A message from Milford superintendent Kevin Dickerson said that the cancellations were made “due to a positive COVID-19 case and related exposure.”

The situation does not impact the Buccaneers’ other fall sports.

The Milford games will be the fifth and sixth Henlopen Conference football games canceled for COVID-19 reasons. Woodbridge and Sussex Tech also had positive virus tests.

Milford previously had a game with Woodbridge canceled.

The difference between football and other sports is, that since football generally only plays one game a week, there isn’t room in the schedule for makeup games.

The situation leaves Milford (1-2) with only a Henlopen North game at Dec. 4 remaining on its football schedule. The Buccaneers’ suspension of football activities is slated to last until Nov. 28.

For the Blue Hens’ men’s hoop team, the stoppage also means that Delaware will not participate in the “Bubbleville” at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for previously scheduled games on Nov. 27 and 28.

“Our program has been diligently following guidelines and protocols since the summer, with no positive tests until this point,” Blue Hen coach Martin Ingelsby said in a press release. “COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the country, and unfortunately our team has now been affected. The health and safety of everyone in our program and the local community remain our top priority. We will continue to follow all safety guidelines and look forward to resuming the preparation for our season when it is deemed safe.”

The positive test results are among the program’s Tier 1 personnel consisting of student-athletes, coaches, staff and managers. Results were detected during UD surveillance testing, which is conducted three times a week in accordance with NCAA guidelines.

Officials said the program is currently following all state, local and University public health guidelines, as the priority remains the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches, staff and community.

Delaware’s entire non-conference schedule will be announced at a later date, including possible phased-in fan attendance subject to state and university health guidelines. The Hens won’t begin their Colonial Athletic Association schedule until January.