Neshannock Lancers

The Neshannock Lancers.

The coronavirus has touched the Neshannock High football program.

A member of the Lancers’ football team has tested positive for COVID-19, it was confirmed Tuesday.

“I think it’s unfortunate to see anybody who received a positive test result,” Neshannock High School Principal Luca Passarelli said. “Our hope is that our student-athlete has a very speedy recovery.”

Attempts to reach Lancers football coach Fred Mozzocio for comments were unsuccessful.

Passarelli said the student-athlete who tested positive must quarantine for 14 days from the date of the positive test result before rejoining the football team. The student-athlete tested positive July 27 and will be able to rejoin the team Aug. 11.

Heat acclimation week around the state for football teams starts Aug. 10.

“He won’t miss too much of the heat acclimation provided he has a smooth recovery; that’s our main concern,” Passarelli said. 

Neshannock athletic director Bobby Burkes noted Mozzocio is on top of the situation.

“You learn from it and you learn how to contain it,” Burkes said. “I know Fred did the right things. He went through everything.

“He cleaned up everything they were using that day. You have to get that type of quick response because it limits any extended problems.”

Burkes said no other athletic activities were halted or affected by the positive test.

“The kids were told to stay out of a certain part of the school,” Burkes said. “None of them had used the part the football players were using.

“They were told to stay out until it could get cleaned up. At this point, it did not affect any of our teams.”

Burkes continued, “This is just grounds that nobody has ever walked on. We will play it by ear, one day at a time. Our administration has done a great job of letting the coaches figure things out and get things handled properly.”

Teams will officially begin football practice the week of Aug. 17.

Neshannock is scheduled to open the 2020 season at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 when it travels to Shenango for a nonconference game.

Sports Writer

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is a sports writer at the New Castle News. Email him at

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