Harrison fights off sickness to prepare for No. 7 McEachern

Harrison High School has some sick football players, but the situation is not as bad as rumors have made it out to be.

David Hines, coach of the Hoyas, told the AJC on Wednesday afternoon that 17-15 players, including four starters, missed the first two days of this week’s practice because of flu-like symptoms.

However, Hines said that he had not considered cancelling any practices or asking for a postponement for Friday’s game at rival McEachern, which is ranked No. 7 in Class AAAAA. He expects at least two starters to return to practice on Thursday, and possibly all four by Friday.

“We’ve had our fair share of kids sick this week … the school sent home 70 on Monday,” Hines said. “[With the football players], I can’t guarantee you that all of them are the flu .. some might be sinus infections or other viruses.”

The McEachern-Harrison series is the biggest rivalry in west Cobb County, and McEachern’s undefeated 7-0 record has added to the intensity. McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said he has been hearing all the Harrison rumors.

“Yeah, we have some little birdies telling us things,” Hockman said. “The students at both schools having been going back and forth about this game, [therefore] I’m not surprised to hear it’s not as bad as some had been saying.”

Hines also added that he and one of his assistants went to prompt care last weekend and were both initially diagnosed with the flu. However, both went to their regular doctors on Monday and a battery of tests changed the diagnosis to bronchitis.

The school is taking all usual precautions, such as spraying down the fieldhouse and lockers, along with reminding players to wash hands.

“We taking everything very seriously, but I don’t know whether or not you’d say it’s a massive outbreak of flu,” Hines said. “If you get a lot of people together in a common area and one person is sick, then it’s very easily transferrable because the bacteria is airborne.

“We’ve been doing all we can do, but it’s probably more in God’s hands right now. We’ve been performing all the preventive measures … now it’s a matter of [the flu] running its course. If we don’t have this or that player on Friday, then we’ll have another one ready to go in  his place.”

9 comments Add your comment


October 21st, 2009
4:32 pm

Wow! I hope all the players are feeling better by Friday. We are suppose to have some heavy rain on Friday. We play Dacula at home this year. We played Dacula last year at Dacula and my son had the flu, plus is was raining and cold!


October 21st, 2009
5:19 pm

psh ur kiddin me harrison didnt have a chance any way even if the player didnt have the flu


October 21st, 2009
5:20 pm

17-15 players? Wow, is that something new in newspaper writing? It’s nothing new this year for teams to have a lot of players out with the flu during this season. I’ve seen teams that have had that many players out, with 6-8 of those being starters. It’s part of life.

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Hoya Chuck

October 21st, 2009
7:18 pm

Hey, dawgsfan3…..That’s the same statement that Lowndes fans said, just before the NSWR game! I would say that Harrison has just as good a chance against McEachern. It’s going to be rainy and slippery on Friday, so anything can happen! I just hope all of the kids are better by then, so both teams can play at full strength. That way, there are no excuses for the losing side!


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October 21st, 2009
8:22 pm

I’m really not surprised. The thing I’m surprised about is this has not been more widespread like in the college ranks. Get well & good luck to all teams this weekend. Deepest sympathies to Marion County HS in SW Ga with the death of one of their players who collapsed at practice.


October 22nd, 2009
11:33 am

Sounds like Harrison making excuses before the fact….

To Brookwood Mom

October 22nd, 2009
1:38 pm

Were you talking about the soccer game last year at Dacula?