Spartans under quarantine

South Caldwell’s varsity football team, shown here in this file photo from last season, is under a 14-day quarantine after the Caldwell County Health Department identified a COVID-19 cluster on the team. The Spartans’ scrimmage against West Caldwell, which was to be played Friday, was cancelled and their Feb. 26 season opener against Watauga has been postponed.

South Caldwell High School’s varsity football team is on quarantine for two weeks after the county identified a cluster of cases on the squad. The quarantine will force the postponement of the Feb. 26 season opener against Watauga, said Athletics Director Jeff Parham; the scrimmage against West Caldwell that had been scheduled for Friday evening was cancelled.

Parham said any potential make-up dates for the Watauga game would be determined later. South Caldwell is scheduled to play at Statesville on March 5.

“I hate it for the kids,” he said. “We’ll just regroup and move on, hope everyone is healthy.”

A cluster is defined as a minimum of five cases with illness onset or initial positive results within a 14-day period and a plausible epidemiological link. Students identified as close contacts have notified, and the team will remain on quarantine through the Caldwell County Health Department’s recommended time frame of 14 days from last exposure, according to a county release.

The cluster is the first reported in Caldwell County Schools since the system reopened for in-person instruction in August. CCS has adhered to all safety protocols and procedures in screening students and staff, sanitizing facilities, wearing face masks, using hand sanitizer and washing hands and requiring 6-foot distancing as recommended by the state and the Centers for Disease Control, the Health Department said in its release.

“Protecting the health and safety of our students and staff is our No. 1 goal,” said Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps. “We’ve had strong preventive measures in place this year, and we will continue to monitor and implement safety procedures and protocols as student opportunities expand beyond the academic instruction.”

The Health Department’s release also states that school district leadership checks in daily with local health officials to optimize policies and practices as COVID knowledge has developed. The school district makes weekly public posts showing the number of positive cases of staff and students, which, the release stated, indicates a trend of lower transmission within the school setting.

Panthers update soccer schedule

Hibriten will visit Draughn at 10 a.m. this morning to make up a game that was postponed earlier this week because of inclement weather.

The Panthers are 7-0 and have outscored their opponents 52-1 so far this season; the Wildcats are winless and haven’t scored a goal in their four games.

CCC&TI announces schedule changes

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s baseball doubleheaders against Guilford Tech, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, have been cancelled. The Cobras will host Guilford Tech in a nine-inning game on March 31. Start time will be 3 p.m.

Also, the start time for the men’s basketball against USC-Salk has. The Cobras will now tip off at 3 p.m. If the women’s game at SMC has not completed by 3 p.m., the men’s game will be streamed on The Scoreboard Facebook page at

Finally, the women’s basketball game against Catawba Valley, scheduled for 3 p.m., Tuesday, has been postponed. The make-up date will be determined later. Additionally, the Cobras’ March 23 game against Fayetteville Tech has been canceled and will not be made up.