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Howell High School's varsity and junior varsity football teams have suspended all activities through Nov. 16 due to COVID-19 exposure, Howell principal Jeremy Braverman confirmed to Shore Sports Network.

Howell's Week 6 game with St. John Vianney has been canceled and the team will not be placed in any NJSIAA postseason pods since those games are to begin on Friday, Nov. 13 and conclude on the weekend of Nov. 20 and 21. If they are able to return to activities on Nov. 17, Howell will try to pick up a game for Week 8 (11/19, 11/20 or 11/21).

Currently, the Rebels' freshmen football team is still operational with a game scheduled for Monday vs. St. John Vianney.

The Rebels are 1-4 this season under head coach Frank Edgerly, who is in his first year leading the Rebels after 14 seasons at Red Bank Catholic. Howell's lone win came in Week 2 when it defeated Manalapan for the first time since 2009.

The Freehold Regional High School District, which includes Howell, Colts Neck, Marlboro, Freehold, Freehold Township and Manalapan high schools, began the school year fully remote but recently transitioned to hybrid learning. The schools are closed for fall break this week.

Howell High School, however, will move to full-time remote learning from Nov. 9 through Nov. 16 due to COVID-19 exposure. Outdoor athletic activities will continue with the exception of the football team because of exposure within the program.

According to a letter posted on the school website:

"The rise in preventable COVID-19 related incidents that originated outside of school directly forced our hand to temporarily close school to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Please enforce social distancing protocols and refrain from hosting or attending large gatherings outside of school so that we can collectively work to maintain a safe school environment. Thank you for your continued support as we work to prioritize student safety and learning during these challenging times."



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