The Class A Central football game between Holmdel and Red Bank, which was originally scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed because of an outbreak of the hand, foot and mouth virus among a small number of Holmdel’s football players.

The first case of the virus was confirmed Monday and additional players became sick on Wednesday, prompting the school to shut down the football program for the rest of the week.

“Upon learning of additional diagnoses of student athletes on the football team we immediately conferred with our school physician, athletic staff and high school administration. Together, we made the decision to cancel all high school football activities for the remainder of the week, including scheduled games with Red Bank Regional High School this Friday,” Holmdel superintendent Dr. Robert McGarry said in a statement to Holmdel’s parents which he also sent to Shore Sports Network.

According to WebMD:

The disease most often occurs in children under 10 and is characterized by a rash of small blister-like sores on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and in the mouth. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, and headache. The disease is spread from person to person through saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stools of an infected person. Outbreaks occur most often in the summer and early fall. There is no treatment other than a pain reliever like acetaminophen. Saltwater mouth rinses may sooth sores in the mouth. The infection usually passes in a week.

There have been several hand, foot and mouth disease outbreaks around New Jersey since the start of the school year, but Holmdel is the first Shore Conference school to have students in its athletic programs with confirmed cases. High Point, Vernon and Wallkill Valley in Sussex County, Pequannock and Kinnelon in Morris County, Don Bosco Prep in Bergen County and Hunterdon Central in Hunterdon County have all had several cases within their schools.

“As our maintenance staff has done all week, all locker rooms, trainer’s rooms, weight room and equipment will continue to be disinfected and cleaned on a daily basis until we can confirm that the treat of additional cases has passed,” McGarry said.

Both schools are planning to make the game up, with the most likely date being the weekend of Nov. 18-19. Holmdel is currently 0-3 and Red Bank is 1-2, so assuming neither team qualifies for and reaches the semifinals of their respective NJSIAA playoff brackets, that would be a mutually open date. It falls in between the NJSIAA Regional Crossover games (formerly consolation games) and Thanksgiving.

“This is the best decision for all players, coaches and referees who otherwise would have been involved in these games this week,” McGarry said. “It is our hope that the Red Bank Regional game will be rescheduled for later in the season.”

News of the game’s postponed was first reported by the Asbury Park Press.


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