North Pole vs. Eagle River canceled, Patriots’ Week 4 contest with Lathrop postponed

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 2:45 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Saturday’s high school football game between the Eagle River Wolves and the visiting North Pole Patriots has been canceled due to a positive COVID-19 case within the North Pole program.

A Railbelt matchup between North Pole and Lathrop, scheduled for September 3, has been rescheduled to September 25 at 6 p.m. at Patriot Pride Stadium. North Pole head coach Mike Hollett says due to contract tracing and quarantine periods, many players would only be able to participate in one practice prior to the conference bout with the Malemutes in week four.

“[Lathrop] Coach [Luke] Balash and Steve Zanazzo, they were gracious and generous with us and allowed us to move that game to week seven,” said Hollett.

A player deemed a close contact is to be tested five days after being notified and again two days later. If both test results are negative, then the player may return to the program.

North Pole and Lathrop each had non-conference opponents slated for week seven - with the Patriots visiting the Dimond Lynx and the Malemutes hosting West Anchorage.

The Patriots (2-0) welcomed in Chugiak and Kenai for their first two games and were set to make their first road trip of the season.

“Kind of putting football aside, the kids were okay until they were told they couldn’t go to back to school,” Hollett added. “That was a tough part, you could feel it when we told them that. They enjoy being here, being around their friends and were not looking forward to having to figure out school online on their own and such.

“Every day we get to do football is a gift and we look forward to the next time we get to do football.”

Eagle River (2-0) is ranked second in in the latest Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network Division II/III Poll, while the Patriots are ranked fourth.

As of publishing, North Pole’s next football game is September 10 in Kodiak against the Bears.

West Valley will travel to Wasilla to play the Warriors on Friday at 7 p.m., while Lathrop will visit East Anchorage at the same date and time. The Eielson Ravens are set to host the Monroe Catholic Rams in a Denali Conference matchup at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Continue to monitor for updates on the high school football season.

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