GOODLAND — When an entire high school football coaching staff gets put into COVID-19 quarantine, sometimes the next man up is the athletic director.


On Friday, Sept. 4, Goodland High School athletic director Marty Lehman stepped into a different role than usual and led the class 3A Goodland Cowboys to an unprecedented win over 5A opponent Liberal, 43-32.


"Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do," said Lehman, in his fifth year as the school’s athletic director. "The important thing last week was making sure our kids got a chance to play."


Liberal was a substitute opponent for the opener. Goodland originally was supposed to play a pair of Colorado schools to start the season, at Wray last week and at home against Burlington this week. But Colorado moved fall sports to the spring because of the coronavirus and Lehman started looking for opponents.


Bridgeport, Neb., which lost a game against a Colorado school, will travel to Goodland this Friday. Liberal, which was supposed to open on the road against Guymon, Okla., last week, would have had to quarantine its players and coaches if they traveled out of state for a mass gathering. Liberal volunteered to make the trip to Goodland last Friday.


Lehman said there was not much pressure on Goodland going into the game against a bigger school from the Western Athletic Conference. None of the Cowboy players was under quarantine.


"We felt like we could compete with them physically as far as athleticism, just depth would be our problem," Lehman said.


Lehman and Biermann agreed it was a team effort to pull it off. The junior high school coaching staff conducted practice and they were on the sideline Friday night. During the week, the quarantined high school coaches held Zoom meetings with the players while the junior high team practiced. After the junior high practices, those coaches stayed on for the high school practice.


"At the end of the day, our regular coaches were still involved," Biermann said. "We were running the things they wanted to execute. I sure hope people realize that what we did was a result of all the hard work our coaches have put in."


Kathisha Wiegers, a school counselor and the wife of the high school’s defensive coordinator, Grant Wiegers, was on the sidelines, too.


"Our defensive coordinator taught his wife, a 115-pound marathon runner, all the defensive signals," Lehman said. "Our counselor was the one who signaled it in. It worked pretty good."


The players made it all happen with their willingness to adapt and do whatever it took to play.


"We’ve got really good leaders on this team who made what we did even easier," Biermann said. "They deserve a ton of credit."


The high school coaching staff was out of quarantine Sunday. Head coach Chase Topliff and his four assistants were back on the sideline for Week 2.