LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Just after noon Wednesday, families were notified by the Foothill High School football coach that the varsity team's Thursday Night Lights game versus Basic High School and the junior varsity game on Friday were canceled.
That canceled Wednesday afternoon’s practice, too, so several dozen players, along with a few coaches and parents, marched to the front of campus to protest the decision.
The players chanted, “Let us play!” to cars driving by.
"To get games ripped away after they missed last season the moral is down,” coach and parent Cole Reed said. “We had a lot of kids crying today."
"I'm feeling really disappointed right now," senior captain Sterling Harnett said.
"We were putting in so much work and we were ready to start winning games and then all this stuff starts happening," senior captain Cole Reed said.
The Falcons' season opener in August versus Desert Pines High School was canceled because of virus cases on Desert Pines' team.
Now, several players on Foothill's team tested positive following the weekly testing last Wednesday.
A large number of players have returned negative tests, but varsity quarterbacks coach Brian Forest said only the vaccinated players were cleared to practice. All others had to wait out their quarantine.
"We test on Wednesday and we don’t get our results until the following Monday,” Forest said. “It's a super flawed system. It doesn't make any sense."
"If the kids are negative and have no symptoms they should be able to play especially if the parents OK with it," Coach Reed said.
Foothill's principal sent a message out to families that read in part, "factors considered before making this difficult decision included a limited number of players, practice time and current and potential player injuries."
The Thursday Night Light’s matchup versus Basic was going to be televised. Now, Basic was given Cheyenne as a new opponent to fill the slot. That leaves Foothill on the sideline, and the team believes there’s likely no make-up of the "Battle of Boulder Highway."
"I think it's really crazy we're losing our games and experiences to COVID," Harnett said.
The school district has previously told FOX5 there's no set rule for what leads to a canceled game, but will treat each situation on a case-by-case basis with advise from the health district.
Practice will resume next Tuesday at Foothill, but the team worries the same thing could happen again.