September 21, 2020

Lady Brave starter first to miss games due to quarantine

(Franklin, GA) — A Lady Brave softball player became the first Heard County fall sport athlete to miss a regular season contest Monday after she was scratched from the starting line-up due to a classmate testing positive for COVID-19.

Junior first baseman Abigail Lathrop says she received the news from Heard County Athletic Director Shane Lasseter that she would not only have to miss Monday’s season opener but would have to remain quarantined at home for 14 days.

She was identified as being exposed through contract tracing. Guidance from the Department of Public Health determines which students must quarantine following the identification of a positive case.

Junior Lady Brave softball player Abigail Lathrop

Like many Brave athletes, Abigail was wearing a mask at school, but after having been within six feet of the unidentified positive student for an extended period was forced to quarantine.

Abigail has never showed or felt symptoms of COVID-19 and if she doesn’t get any symptoms in the meantime she can return to school and the softball field on August 24.

Testing is not required in this situation and even with a negative test, students must still remain home for the full 14 days.

She says it was hard missing Monday’s season opener which the Lady Braves won 15-1, but says her coaches and teammates have been very supportive.

“It was extremely hard not being their for my team yesterday, but coach Porter made sure to fill me in before and after the game. Also, some of my teammates have been texting me, so it helps,” says Abigail said via email today.

As an upperclassmen and a team leader, Abigail shared a message for her Lady Brave teammates to think about while she is away.

“I will miss y’all very much but I’ll be back as soon as I can! I believe in y’all and I know you will do amazing with or without me. I want y’all to WIN and encourage one another,” Abigail said.

The junior infielder also wants to implore everyone to be safe until things can get back to normal.

“Keep six feet apart as much as possible and please wear your masks. Also, encourage your friends to wear their mask so that we may limit the spread of COVID-19 and so that we can get things back to normal as soon as possible,” she added.

Abigail was a second team All-Region 5-AA player as a sophomore in 2019. She hopes to attend the University of Georgia after graduation but is still undecided on a course of study.

Since returning for summer workouts on June 8, HCHS has reported only four COVID-19 positive cases among athletes and staff.

The GHSA revealed Monday to the AJC that the total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported among state high school athletes is 866 including 211 since July 28.

In addition to softball, volleyball will also begin today as the varsity Lady Braves host Central at HCHS today at 6:00 PM. The Heard and Central JV squads will get it started at 5:00 PM.

High school football is currently scheduled to open the season on September 4 following the cancellation of the two scheduled preseason weeks by the GHSA last week. The preseason games had been slated for August 21 and August 28.

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