(KMTR) -- There's never a good time for a school district to experience widespread illness, but for Oakland
, the timing seems particularly bad, with the high school preparing for their first state championship football game since the 1960s.
On Wednesday, all three Oakland schools closed their doors due to a stomach bug that hit about 100 of the district's 500 students.
Head football coach, Ben Lane, said that 8 of his 40 players had initially come down with the illness, so they cancelled practice Wednesday. Friday, he reported the entire team has recovered, is healthy, and ready to play.
"Your first instinct is to panic and get scared that you're going miss a day of practice, and preparation," says Lane, of his first reaction to the outbreak. He says after the initial shock, he put it all in perspective. "You missed one day of practice, not a big deal. These kids are not going to forget how to play football because you didn't practice on Wednesday," says Lane. "If anything, it may have been more of a bonus. They got their legs back under them even more, they did film study, and they worked on the mental part of the game. So for us, it probably worked out better in the end."
Ryan Comstock is a senior on the team and was one of the players sick on Wednesday. He's happy he recovered quickly and will get to play tomorrow.
"You know, if we're getting ready for one of the biggest games of our lives, and one of the last, I figured, if I missed this day, it could hurt us as a team," says Comstock.
The game is scheduled to start at Saturday, at the Hillsboro Stadium. Oakland will play Portland Christian for the Oregon 2A high school football championship title.
This is just the second time Oakland's made it to the state football finals. They played for the title in 1964, and won. Coach Lane is hopeful his players will all stay healthy, and will be ready to take home the title once again on Saturday.
As for the stomach illness, Oakland superintendent Nanette Hagen expects school to resume as usual Monday, but not without warning. An automated message is going out Sunday, calling all Oakland parents with updates, and urging them to keep their kids at home until they are two-days out of symptoms.
The County Health Department is still working on determining what caused the illness. They're still requesting stool samples from infected kids. You can pick-up a kit at Oakland City Hall.