Not long after beating Waterloo 29-6 in Level 1 of the WIAA Division 5 football playoffs Saturday afternoon, Cambridge head coach and Athletic Director Mike Klingbeil made a call to Mineral Point, a first-round winner itself, to set up the next week’s regional championship finale.
Then Klingbeil heard the news: Mineral Point was ending its season due to COVID-related issues.
“You talk about 2020 being the year of the house of horrors, this has been it,” Klingbeil said.
Since Mineral Point defeated Palmyra-Eagle 63-6 on Friday night, the policy was to reach out to PEHS Athletic & Activities Director Joel Tortomasi to see if the Panthers would be willing to play
“I talked to him Saturday night and they’re also ending their season due to COVID,” Klingbeil said. “That kind of left us without a game.”
As of Monday afternoon, Klingbeil said he and his staff have been working nearly 48 hours to find a game to play, either Thursday or Friday.
“I think we’ve called 25 different teams so far,” he said. “Most of them are teams that have lost their opening-round games; we’re wanting to play, we just can’t find anybody. We don’t want to play someone that’s say over 500 (enrollment) or have to travel too far. It’s been a whirlwind.”
In the meantime, Cambridge was awarded a 1-0 forfeit victory over Mineral Point. The game would have been the season finale, as this year’s WIAA playoffs were cut back to just games in Level 1 and Level 2, eliminating quarterfinal, semifinal and state final contests due to the pandemic.
The Blue Jays will practice through Wednesday with hopes of landing one last opponent.
“If we don’t hear anything through Wednesday, then we’ll probably call it quits,” Klingbeil said. “Right now, we’re just keeping an eye on the (WIAA) brackets and staying close to the phone.”