High Schools: Football season ends for KMS Fighting Saints because of coronavirus
Head coach Jason Fernholz confirms he has tested positive for COVID-19, though he does not have symptoms
KERKHOVEN — The Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg football program has been shut down for the remainder of the 2020 season after head coach Jason Fernholz tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
Fernholz, who does not work at the school, is tested once a week at his place of employment. Asymptomatic, he was made aware of the positive test while coaching on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the Fighting Saints’ 26-0 victory at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. At that point, he was removed from the game.
“Everyone was doing everything right, but it turns out, this is because of me,” Fernholz said. “I feel awful. ... It’s shocking and disappointing.”
While he did not travel back with the team, Fernholz was able to break the news to his players when they all returned to Kerkhoven later that night.
“I met with the guys after they got off the bus,” Fernholz said. “We kind of all just sat outside and I addressed the team that way. I got to talk to them at the end. Still, it’s not the way you wanted (the season) to stop, but at least they got to hear it from me and not an email from the school.
“Obviously, with the older kids and the seniors, I could see all of their heads go down. There were a lot of tears from them and from me as well. Everyone looked really shocked.”
The Fighting Saints were scheduled to host Benson on Wednesday.
With its win over the Jaguars, KMS will finish with a 3-2 record. It may serve as little consolation to the players, but that victory secured the program’s fifth straight season without a losing record.
“I’m glad they got to at least go out with a win,” Fernholz said.