Positive COVID-19 test cancels Marion County-South Pittsburg football game

Staff photo by Robin Rudd / With the Jolly Roger flying behind him, a South Pittsburg football waits for the start of the Pirates' rivalry matchup against visiting Marion County in September 2018.

For the first time since 1954, the Marion County versus South Pittsburg football rivalry game will not be played.

Marion County High School found out early Friday afternoon that one of its players has tested positive for COVID-19, and by county health department regulations the entire Warriors team will not be allowed to compete.

"We're doing contact tracing now, and we're up to more than 100 kids who will likely be quarantined for 14 days dating back to this past Tuesday," said Mark Griffith, superintendent of Marion County Schools.

The second-oldest rivalry in Tennessee, Friday night's game at South Pittsburg would have been the 96th meeting between the intracounty rivals. Both teams were 3-0, with the Warriors ranked No. 5 in TSSAA Class 2A and the Pirates No. 1 in Class 1A.