Vernon Hills to miss Week 1 due to COVID-19 protocols

The Vernon Hills football team’s Week 1 game, scheduled for Saturday at Niles North, has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Vernon Hills athletic director Brian McDonald confirmed in an email late Tuesday night the cancellation.

“Vernon Hills varsity football team (is) in quarantine right now,” McDonald’s email said.

Niles North coach Patrik Pistorio had to tell his team at practice Tuesday.

“I was heading out to practice when I was told we don’t have a game this week due to Vernon Hills being in quarantine,” Pistorio said.

“I’ve never had to deal with anything like this. Mostly, I feel bad for the kids at Vernon Hills. They’ve got a talented group.”

The Cougars went 5-4 in 2019, but missed the playoffs.

They return three Division I recruits, including running back/safety Ryan Mann (NIU) as well as linebacker Jackson Wiegold and tight end Justin Morris, both headed to Ball State.

Messages left for Vernon Hills head football coach Bill Bellecomo and Brian McDonald, the school’s athletic director, Thursday night were not immediately returned.

The Cougars are scheduled to play their Week 2 game at Highland Park on March 26, a game that could also be in jeopardy, depending on the length of the quarantine.