Dayton Flyers’ season-opening football game cancelled because of coronavirus pandemic

Aerial view of Dayton Public Schools’ Welcome Stadium looking northwest. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Aerial view of Dayton Public Schools’ Welcome Stadium looking northwest. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

UD now has 10 games on regular-season schedule

The Dayton Flyers football team’s season opener on the road against Southeast Missouri State University was cancelled on Monday, both schools announced, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The game was scheduled to be played Sept. 3 in Cape Girardeau, Mo. It was the first game of a home-and-home series. SEMO announced it is working to find an opponent to replace date for Sept. 3.

“I feel badly for the players of both teams,” UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan said in a press release. “I know our guys are very disappointed. But the health and safety for our campus and our student-athletes has to be the priority. With the challenges related to COVID-19, we simply would not have time for our football team to be physically prepared with the proper exercise and heat acclimatization needed prior to our first game.

“I would like to thank SEMO, their athletic director Brady Barke and coach Matukewicz for their cooperation, dialogue and understanding over the last few months in coming to this decision.”

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Dayton and SEMO will work to reschedule the game in a future season.

Dayton finished 8-3 overall last season and 6-2 in the Pioneer Football League. The season opener now, if it stays on the schedule, would be Sept. 12 at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. It’s one of 10 games remaining on the schedule.