Bigfork Postpones Volleyball Games for Two Weeks After Player Tests Positive for COVID-19

Two-week quarantine cancels four volleyball games; unknown number of football players also quarantined

Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon A single volleyball championship banner from 1986 hangs on the wall of Bigfork High School behind a referee calling Bigfork's volleyball game against Libby.

Bigfork has postponed its volleyball games for two weeks following a player testing positive for the coronavirus and over half the varsity and junior varsity teams being placed in quarantine, athletic director Matt Porrovecchio told the Missoulian and on Wednesday.

The case originated at the school with the volleyball player, Porrovecchio said, and that player is the only athlete at the school who has tested positive. The other volleyball players placed into quarantine came as the result of contact tracing based on county guidelines, he added, leaving the Valkyries without enough players to make a competitive-enough team.

“When I talked to coach and asked how big of a hit this would be and if there’s any way that we can put together a team, it just didn’t pencil out,” Porrovecchio said, noting that 57% of the players on the two volleyball teams are in quarantine.

The school settled on a two-week cancellation for the games because the typical incubation period for a person to begin showing symptoms is between two and 14 days, the latter being when they can be cleared to return.

The Valkyries were scheduled to play four games between this week and next week. Three of those conference games have been rescheduled: Eureka on Oct. 5, Thompson Falls on Oct. 17 and Troy on Oct. 19.

Porrovecchio and Whitefish athletic director Aric Harris haven’t decided if they’re going to reschedule their game, Porrovecchio said, because it’s a non-conference match and the league games are the priority.

An unspecified number of football players were also placed into quarantine based on contact tracing related to volleyball, Porrovecchio said. The football team hasn’t had a positive case, so the game for this Friday against Missoula Loyola is still on, he said.

“It doesn’t take too long for that rabbit hole to start spreading, and I think we’ve done a really good job with keeping kids clustered, but there’s still some things with contacts you can’t control,” he said, noting that the player who tested positive is “recovering and doing fine,” based on what he heard from that person’s family.

There have also been non-athletes placed into quarantine as a result of contact tracing related to volleyball, he added. The school is offering both in-person and online classes.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.