Pope’s Jasper Merriman, left, breaks into the end zone behind a block from Clayton Dixon during their game against Wheeler last Friday

The coronavirus has sent the schedule spinning for a number of Cobb County high school football teams, particularly those in Region 6AAAAAA.

The Pope-Kennesaw Mountain and Wheeler-Kell games, scheduled for Friday night, were canceled due to reported positive cases for COVID-19 within the Pope football program.

Next week’s game between Pope and Sprayberry was also canceled, according to Pope athletic director Josh Mathews.

Because of the cancellations, one game that was originally lost has now been revived. Kell will now head to Kennesaw Mountain to play the Mustangs on Friday.

“My AD came in and told me we were going over there to play Kennesaw Mountain,” Kell coach Brett Sloan said. “I can’t comment on anything else, but we’re just thankful we get to go play this weekend.

Kennesaw Mountain and Kell were originally scheduled to play Oct. 9, but that game was canceled because of a coronavirus issue within the Kell program. It will be the first meeting between the Mustangs and Longhorns.

It was reported Monday that the Pope football program had suspended activities because one player had tested positive for the coronavirus. Yet, at that time, the game against Kennesaw Mountain was still on.

No one from the Wheeler program has said its game against Kell was canceled because of the virus, but the Wildcats played Pope last weekend in a game the Greyhounds won 28-21.

If the Wheeler-Kell game was canceled because of virus concerns, it would bring the total of games affected in the county this season to 17.

Wheeler will have another opportunity to try to pick up a game.

The Wildcats are scheduled to be off Nov. 20, which is the last week of the regular season. Sprayberry does not have any scheduled bye weeks between now and the end of the season, but it will have the opportunity to schedule a game next week if it wants.

Next week’s cancellation is the second for the Sprayberry this season. It lost its season opener to Riverwood when Fulton County delayed the start of its teams’ seasons for two weeks, leading to the Yellow Jackets scheduling North Cobb in its place.

Pope has no more bye weeks on the schedule.

When the season ends, the top four teams in Region 6AAAAAA will qualify for the Class AAAAAA state playoffs. With teams playing an uneven number of games, the qualifying teams will be decided by winning percentage in region play.

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