Eagle Valley volleyball goes into COVID-19 quarantine
Saturday’s game against Battle Mountain postponed; Devils can return Wednesday
There’s no good way of saying this.
Eagle Valley volleyball went into COVID-19 quarantine for seven to 10 days on Wednesday, according to the school’s athletic director Tom LaFramboise and team coach Mike Garvey.
Saturday’s scheduled volleyball match at Battle Mountain is postponed as is next week’s versus Glenwood Springs.
With the official quarantine clock starting Wednesday, according to LaFramboise, Eagle Valley with the correct testing can resume operations Wednesday, April 14. The Devils, as the schedule is now, would play at Steamboat Springs on April 15, at Summit on April 20 and at Glenwood on April 23.
The last day of the volleyball regular season is April 24, so look for Eagle Valley to be rescheduling the first Glenwood game as well as Battle Mountain during that stretch.
Please note that the above machinations are based on the seven-day quarantine option where all the Devils involved get negative COVID tests by April 14. Were Eagle Valley players opting not to test or be unable to test, the quarantine would last until April 17. The 7- or-10-day quarantine procedures, of course, would be extended were symptoms to persist in Eagle Valley’s camp.
“I’m in the process of calling each family,” LaFramboise said at roughly noon on Friday. “So far, they’re taking it well. Physically, people are fine. Emotionally, it takes a toll. Mike Garvey has done a great job of communicating with the players and they have the opportunity to come back and play.”
While, of course, everyone is eager to resume the season, this is, first and foremost, a health issue. While LaFramboise and Garvey cannot provide medical specifics with regard to members of the team because of privacy laws, the Devils are doing as best they can through this challenge.
“Right now, we don’t have any major concerns of health. Does that work,” Garvey said, wanting the public to know his team is physically well, but doing the required linguistic dance.
This is not the first time. Hopefully, it’s the last. No one can guarantee that. What makes this instance even more frustrating is that Eagle Valley volleyball is 8-1 and tied for first in the 4A Slope with Palisade.
That 8-1 record is not only significant in the standings. Eight matches are the CHSAA-mandated minimum for postseason eligibility. Please keep that in mind, if the quarantine has to be extended. Eagle Valley is postseason eligible even if it doesn’t play another regular-season match in a hypothetical worst-case scenario.
Eagle Valley’s ranked No. 3 in maxpreps.com in 4A, fifth in the rating-percentage index and eighth in the Chsaanow.com poll, the three postseason indices. With 24 teams making regionals on May 1, the Devils are in. The job now is to get healthy, return and get back in the flow — ideally — during the remainder of the regular season.
Please remember that this is not the 14-day shutdown of the old rules, changed in February, which affected Eagle Valley football (missed the first two games of the season), Devils basketball (two weeks in the middle of the season) or Eagle Valley wrestling (what seemed a season ending 14-day quarantine turned into an abrupt invite to regionals when the Colorado Department of Public Health and CHSAA changed the quarantine period to 10 days at the time). In the interests of full disclosure, Battle Mountain’s two state wrestlers got snagged in COVID-19 tracing and were not allowed to compete on their sport’s biggest stage.
In theory, the ladies are missing “just” one week, which is better than previous scenarios. There does appear to be enough time left on the slate to reschedule the two lost games.
It’s still a week in an already condensed season.
A part of the plan?
Garvey is in his first year as the head coach at Eagle Valley, so maybe he’s new to some in the Eagle Valley community. He is not new to Eagle County volleyball, having started Vail Mountain School volleyball and coaching the Gore Rangers for nearly 20 years.
This is relevant because Garvey has been saying the same thing about the 2020 volleyball season which became the 2021 campaign as COVID-19 altered the calendar.
“Our approach is that we’ve been grateful for everything we have with this season,” Garvey said Friday.
Garvey used that same phrase back during summer voluntary workouts when volleyball was going to be a fall sport. When volleyball got moved to the spring, Garvey was still preaching gratitude that there would be a season. Come winter “informal” workouts, it was Garvey saying, “We’re grateful to have the opportunity to practice together.” Same thing with regard to playing as the season finally started.
No, Garvey didn’t want his team to get snared in COVID-19, but it sure seems like a veteran coach was preparing for the possibility.
“Right now we’re fortunate to have the minimum number of games to qualify for the postseason,” Garvey said. “Eight matches, we’re over that. Our players should have some time to return. We’ve done our work. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity by hard work.”