Schools gearing up for home sports
Ellsworth approves plan with 4 tickets per player for football, 2 for volleyball, Prescott still working to get fans in the stands
The whole community won’t be able to pack the stands for football and volleyball games at Ellsworth High School, but school officials were able to put together a plan that will allow parents and family to watch their athletes perform this fall.
The Ellsworth Community School District Board of Education on Monday night unanimously approved the plan developed by Athletic Director Ann Huppert and administration that will give football players four passes and volleyball players two passes for each home game to be used for family members.
The school district worked with Pierce County Public Health, which put together guidelines for districts. Public Health would prefer no attendance, but that would mean parents couldn’t watch their children compete. “Actually, they’d prefer we don’t have sports at all,” said Superintendent Barry Cain. “They’re offering guidance, but we take their guidance very, very seriously.
Fans are encouraged to follow livestream versions of athletic events on the We Are Ellsworth Facebook page.
Football attendance will be capped at 210, while volleyball will allow 76 in the high school gym.
Under the plan, senior athletes will be able to pick first where their families can sit, followed in order by the lower classmen. Families will then sit in the same place for each game. Family members can sit together and seating will be socially distanced in the football stands and in the gym.
“If we do end up a with a situation where someone is sick, we’ll have a pretty good idea of who’s sitting in that area,” said Cain.
There will be no gate admission, and there will be no concessions sold.
No spectators from visiting schools will be allowed.
“Public Health is very adamant about that,” said Cain.
All spectators must wear masks.
School officials stressed that the plan will work, provided those attending the games follow strict social distancing guidelines.
“Once you’re on the grounds, in parking lots, going into the game, don’t congregate,” said Cain. “After the games, we can’t have people getting together in the parking lot. You have to go to your seat, enjoy the game and head out. If we can make that happen we can have a pretty darn nice night for our kids. We can’t have pictures on Facebook of 35 people standing around in the parking lot after the game. Our focus is to get as many of the parents and family members of these athletes in, and it’s going to require common sense and following these rules In football, all athletes on the sideline will need to be socially distanced and wear masks. Football players will not wear masks in game action, however. Volleyball players all will wear face coverings.
The first varsity football game will be Friday, Sept. 25 against Osceola. Volleyball opens its home season Thursday night, Sept. 18, against Saint Croix Central.
Other sports, such as tennis, golf and cross country, where fans can easily social distance, and crowds are significantly lighter, don’t carry the same restrictions.
Cain credited the work of Huppert and High School Principal Mark Stoesz with getting the plan to allow for attendance put together.
“These two have worked really hard on this, and we’re pleased they could come up with this,” he said.
“Thanks for all the work that went into this,” said School Board President Doug Peterson.
PRESCOTT WORKING ON PLAN
Prescott High School Activities Director Matt Smith said as of Tuesday morning, .there are only 50 fans allowed at home football games and none at volleyball games, but he was hopeful that the district could put together an acceptable plan still for parents to attend volleyball.
Fans are encouraged to check the school website for information on where events will be live-streamed.
There is a home cross country meet on Thursday, sept. 24. Fans will need to social distance.
The first home volleyball match is Saturday at 10 a.m. against Ellsworth.
The first home football game is against Ellsworth on Friday, Oct. 2.
Photo by John McLoone.