MONTE VISTA - After months of saying no, CHSAA is now allowing schools to play football. Monte Vista Highschool athletic director Greg Jones said that the school received an email with a choice of whether they would like to play in the Spring or Fall. “We did a parent survey before we answered what we wanted to do and our survey came out about 96% in favor of going this Fall. So, we went ahead with starting this Fall,” said Jones.
The Monte Vista Pirates will have their first game Oct. 9, although this year’s season is going to look a little different with COVID-19 health guidelines in place. Players will have to wear masks but will be allowed to take them off when they are inside the white lines on the field while playing. “But anytime they exit the field their masks should come up. Everybody is under the same restrictions including players and coaches. Everybody should have their masks up outside the white lines,” said Jones.
Traveling will also look a little different for teams this year as they try to space out players on buses.
“We’re using kind of our same travel arrangements that we use for transporting kids to school. One kid per seat. We’re probably going to have to take a little more transportation,” said Jones. Jones also explained that parents are also able to transport their own child to the games if they don’t feel comfortable with them riding the bus.
When asked if parents will be allowed to attend the games Jones answered saying, “Our home games yes. It’s kind of city by city, county by county. It depends on what their regulations are. We get 175 attendees for outdoor events and we’re dividing those tickets up 70% to the home team and 30% to the visitors. We’re giving each one of our kids 3 tickets, for their family or others, whomever they want to include. Then we’re giving 52 of them to the visiting school to disperse how they want. And then the rest we’re kind of raffling them off. We’re giving them to the good kids, as a reward and things like that.”
When asked if there were any concerns with having teams from different school districts play each other with COVID-19 risks Jones answered saying, “I think there’s definitely concerns, but I think if we do the right things, we can still keep the rate down. I think inevitably it’s probably going to happen at some point in time, no matter what. But I think if we follow our protocols, we can limit it to a few and not make it many.”
Even though football is now allowed to be played this Fall, with some restrictions, volleyball for now it seems will still have its season this Spring. Since it’s played indoors and social distancing is more of a challenge. Monte Vista has been able to have a cross-country season this Fall, although it too has looked different with social distancing guidelines in place.
“They only race 50 racers per race which has cut down a lot of the races down to about 10 teams so a lot of the bigger events have cut down. They can run one boys’ race, one girls’ race and then they run them in waves of 25. They’re trying to get their spacing there. They have to wear their masks all the way up to the start line and kind of on your marks drop your masks, and then shot the gun. Then as soon as their finished their masks come back up,” explained Jones.
Even though this year’s football season may look different the students are excited Jones shared saying, “I think the kids are very excited. I think that they’re just glad that they (CHSAA) finally made a decision I think they were kind of on a yo-yo there for a while, now we’re going, now we’re not, now we ‘re going again, now we’re not,” Jones further stating later, “But I think once we get them out on the field and they actually start playing it’ll get some of that normalcy back that our kids need.”