NORWICH -- In football, an extra day off before a game can help a team focus on two things: game preparation and most importantly, rest.
And while the start of the football season kicked off for some schools, others had their start pushed back due to the mosquito virus Triple E.
In recent months, mosquitoes here in Connecticut have tested positive for EEE - resulting in a delay to the start of the season for some football teams.
“Obviously the players safety right,” said Mathew Martorelli, Xavier Falcons Athletic Director. “Their health and well-being is obviously at the top of our priorities. So making sure that we can provide an environment for our kids to compete safely and keep their health as our number one priority is our number one concern.”
In what was supposed to be a game under the bright lights Friday night between Xavier and Norwich Free Academy, turned into a day game Saturday, a move some parents have different opinions on.
“I’m glad that they changed it for the kid's safety,” said Heather Grisham, a parent of an Xavier player. “That should be most important for everybody is safety. I feel good you know I send my son to this school for a reason and I know NFA - I went there too, you know same thing - they should be putting the kids first. Not what spectators and everyone else wants.”
“I think it’s overblown quite frankly the threat,” said Bill Sweeney of Canterbury. Triple E been around for a long-time. Few people have died from it. I think it’s a little bit overkill. They (football teams) have a schedule that they follow and it affects their practice. They got to get ready for the next game too, so I don’t think it necessarily helps them at all.”
As for players, Norwich Free Academy quarterback Austin Richards feels like he benefited from that extra day.
“People might think of it as a negative - but I think of it as a positive. I feel like it helped us with one more day - another rep - get everybody that’s hurting to see an athletic trainer. Do what we need to do to win this game.”
For more information on EEE, click here.