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Clark's final soccer season ends due to COVID
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Boys soccer

Clark's final soccer season ends due to COVID

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HAMMOND — One day away from the biggest soccer match in school history, the Clark boys soccer team was dealt the cruelest of fates Friday morning.

The Pioneers learned of a positive COVID-19 test within its program on Friday and due to Center for Disease Control protocols, the team will go into quarantine and won’t be able to participate in a Class 2A regional semifinal against NorthWood on Saturday.

Clark won the first sectional title in school history last weekend when it defeated Griffith 2-1 in what turned out to be the final game for the program. The school is set to close at the end of the year.

“We were made aware today of a person associated with the Clark soccer team testing positive,” Hammond superintendent Scott Miller said. “It was just one person, but because of the timing and the nature, this person was in close contact with the rest of the team, by definition of the CDC, there is no way to safely play this game.”

Clark coach Christian Garcia was floored by the news and deferred all comments to the Hammond school board.

“It’s a gut punch,” Miller said. “It’s the last year of Clark, and for this to happen, it’s just really tough. COVID has taken a lot from us this year.”

Miller sent a message to the families of the Clark players in which he tried to search for a silver lining.

“We can say that we won our final game,” Miller said. “Our players went out as champions.”

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Paul Oren has been a correspondent reporter for The Times since 2005. A member of the United States Basketball Writers Association, Paul has spent more than 15 years covering Valparaiso basketball.

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