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Athletic programs in Johnson County suspended

Paintsville athletic programs are suspended until further notice due to rising cases in the county.
Published: Aug. 9, 2020 at 5:13 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 2:17 PM EDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - This past weekend both Paintsville and Johnson Central High Schools halted their preseason football workouts.

”We want to be safe and do everything we can now to be safe and play later, and we hope everybody is trying to do that same thing,” said Paintsville Head Coach Joe Chirico.

As cases are on the rise in the county, and in Eastern Kentucky, both programs, fresh off of trips to the state title game, stopped their weight lifting activities and conditioning drills.

“I just wanted to keep our kids safe and if not practicing, not being around each other for a week or two would help, you know that’s what we kind of felt like,” added Chirico.

Johnson Central’s Head Coach Jim Matney stopped practices as his team had no positive cases this weekend.

“It’s just, so much that we don’t know. But, I think it’s really that fear of the unknown that is hurting, hurting us so badly,” said Matney. ”As a coach that’s just not my area of expertise.”

Monday, Matney found out at least one of his athletes has tested positive for COVID 19 after he had stopped organized activities.

”In my own mind, and I’m not an expert but, I’m afraid the consequences may outweigh the negative but, I’m not an expert, I’m not a doctor,” said Matney

Practice is scheduled to start for Kentucky high school football teams on Monday, August 24th with the first games set for Friday, September 11th.

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