The Eastern Connecticut Conference has postponed its Saturday football combine due to the region’s rising COVID-19 cases, football chairman Jim Buonocore announced in a statement Thursday.
The football combine, the culmination of the league’s 7-v-7 fall league, was set for Saturday at New London High School.
The ECC had just released a schedule of events the day before.
“After further consultation with Stephen Mansfield, Director of Health, and New London Mayor Michael Passero, we all agreed this was the best decision for our communities, schools, student-athletes and coaches,” said Buonocore, an assistant principal and athletic director at Ledyard High School.
Mansfield, in a letter shared by Buonocore, said the event plans were “thorough and, in our opinion, provide the best level of competition for an event like this.” But he cited the rising cases in New London as reason
New London County was the first to see a statewide uptick in COVID-19 cases several weeks ago and is averaging 20.8 cases per 100,000 residents over the last seven days, second most behind Fairfield County’s 20.9.
Nearby Windham County, which also has ECC-member schools, was also seeing an upward trend with 17 cases per 100,000 residents over the last week, similar to the state average.
Overall, Connecticut’s positivity rate has trended high as 4% and was at 3.4% as of Wednesday. (Update: Lamont reported a positivity rate of 6.1% — the highest rate since June — during his weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon.)
Buonocore did not say when the event might be rescheduled.
“Mayor Passero, who was also in consultation with the governor’s office, has been gracious enough to continue to work with the ECC, and myself, to perhaps reschedule the even to a later time where the health metrics are better suited for this activity,” Buonocore said.
“I want to reiterate that as the ECC football chairperson, I am in full support of this decision to postpone the event at this time.”
The ECC football combine was announced in September along with the league’s plans for holding a 7-v-7 season. It was scheduled as a skills showcase to end the fall season.
Events included a 40-yard dash, broad jump, medicine ball throw, pro agility and L drills.
More than100 junior and senior ECC football players were expected to participate, Buonocore said.