Middletown Times Herald-Record
USA TODAY NETWORK
WEST POINT Brian Riley’s longest preseason training career with Army came to a screeching and scary end just two days before the start of the hockey season.
Last Thursday, the Black Knights were flagged for the COVID-19 virus involving a small number of players and clear contacts traced by the rest of the team. Riley reports that everyone is doing well physically, but that the team has been placed in a 14-day quarantine period that extends until next Friday. That means no practices, but a lot of Zoom video conferences from remote barracks and coach houses.
For the safety of not only the team, but also the safety of the corps of cadets, the administration felt that we should go into quarantine and close it for a few weeks, said Riley, who is quarantined at his home.
The Army would be the first team in Atlantic Hockey to play last weekend, and now the Black Knights may be the last of the current ten teams to conquer the ice. The November 14 opener with Long Island, the Friday and Sunday games with Holy Cross, and the post-Thanksgiving games with Sacred Heart on November 27-28 were all postponed. That leaves the next scheduled army ladies with Bentley, on December 4 at West Point and December 5 in Waltham, Massachusetts. The five postponed games are expected to be rescheduled, although Riley realizes that some weekday games will make it to the schedule. a bit more challenging.
When we finally get back on the ice, we’ll be a little rusty, Riley said. Hopefully we have everyone ready to play. I know we will eventually go back to where we were a week ago as I felt we were in great shape.
Riley, 61, is in an older age group where there is more concern about contracting COVID and its effects.
I think I’m in that age bracket, I hate to admit it, he said. So I try not to think about it. I try to be smart in what I do to protect myself and protect the people around me, be it the cadets or my family.
Riley acknowledges that the timing is awful, from the highs of the season opener’s approach to the quarantine failure.
You have to be ready to adapt and deal with setbacks, Riley told his team. If this is the worst that happens to us this year, we can handle it and it will be a good year.
Twitter, speak: @KenMcMillanTHR
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