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story.lead_photo.caption Capital City quarterback Kaden Dassrath hands the ball off to running back Ethan Wood during a game earlier this season against Warrensburg at Adkins Stadium. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / California Democrat.

Week 8 of the Missouri high school football season will go on without Capital City this weekend, but the Cavaliers are eying a return to play in Week 9.

The program will remain in a suspended state until Monday due to COVID-19 concerns. Capital City will then resume normal operations in preparation for its regular-season finale next Friday at Adkins Stadium against Kirksville (4-3).

"The shutdown has given our kids an opportunity to step back so we can create some distance and do our due diligence," Capital City coach Shannon Jolley said. "All of our kids are enrolled in strength and conditioning throughout the week, and I'm sure some have conditioned on their own. I'm confident our kids will not only be physically capable, but we'll be back to full strength."

The Cavaliers (0-6, 0-5 Central Missouri Activities Conference) canceled their Week 7 road game against Sedalia Smith-Cotton (0-6, 0-4 CMAC) and their Week 8 road game against non-conference foe Winnetonka (6-1).

In place of on-field practices and games, Capital City has used Zoom video conferencing to conduct virtual practices this week. Defensive coordinator Cameron McDaniel has been tasked with leading the meetings.

"Our first meeting was to let all of our players know about everything that was going on and what we'd be doing going forward," McDaniel said. "We then broke things down into position groups, and that's been good. The next meetings will be a little more X-and-O-oriented as we get closer to Kirksville."

The program is planning to hit the ground running once it resumes normal operations.

Next Tuesday, the Cavaliers' JV team will host Macon on the turf at Capital City. That game will be followed by two quarters of a freshman game.

Two days later, Capital City's freshmen will travel north to Southern Boone for a full game. All of the lower-level action will lead up to the varsity home game later in the week against Kirksville.

The Tigers are hosting Fulton tonight to wrap up play in the North Central Missouri Conference.

"Getting back on the field will be big," Jolley said. "I don't think there's any doubt there's going to be some transitional things we'll have to deal with. We'll have to reorganize a little bit.

"One thing I've learned in this process is that our kids are really resilient, probably more so than even us coaches realize. They've had to overcome a lot of obstacles this season."

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