By Travis Mounts
With their breaths held and fingers crossed, high school athletes and coaches are beginning their seasons.
Some sports began last week, and nearly all the rest start this week. Varsity football games begin this Friday.
All local high schools covered by TSnews are moving forward with their seasons. Two weeks ago, Wichita Public Schools cancelled all of their fall sports and activities. And last Friday, the Kansas State High School Activities Association approved a plan that would allow schools to push their fall seasons into the spring.
Wichita’s cancellation of fall sports will have some impact on the larger schools in the TSnews coverage area. Eisenhower lost its first football game, which was to be at home against Wichita Heights. Instead, the Tigers will host the Hays Indians this Thursday at Goddard District Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The Sept. 5 cross country meet at Lake Afton also has been cancelled, impacting the EHS runners.
An Eisenhower home soccer game against Maize earlier this week replaced the Tigers’ original contest against Wichita East. The Tigers’ Sept. 24 home game against Wichita Northwest has been called off.
The Campus soccer team lost its original home opener, which was supposed to have been early this week against Wichita South. Instead, the Colts will begin the season this Thursday at home against the Goddard Lions.
Campus football was scheduled to host Wichita Northwest on Oct. 2. Instead, the Colts will play Andover at Colt Stadium.
Changes for other schools and sports may have happened that are not reflected in this story, or other changes could still be in the works.
Editor’s note: The Wichita Board of Education overturned the decision to cancel fall sports late Tuesday. Wichita Public Schools will, however, only play each other this season.
School districts are putting plans into place for sporting events in order to comply with state and local recommendations and requirements regarding public gatherings.
Here is a look at what fans can expect.
There is a 25 percent limit on indoor events. Two tickets will be issued for Argonia and opposing players, with three tickets for seniors. After that, the public will be admitted until capacity is reached. Masks are required. For outdoor events, masks are required for admittance and when social distancing cannot be maintained. There is no capacity limit at this time.
Fan attendance will be limited. Online sales are strongly encouraged. Immediately family members of participants will have the first chance to buy tickets before sales are opened to the general public. Online tickets sales will run through 3 p.m. the day of the event. In-person sales will be allowed the day of the event, but only if tickets have not been sold out online. Exact cash will be required. This limit includes people who may want to attend on a school or senior pass. League passes are not being accepted. For volleyball, masks will be required at all times and temperature checks will be done. For football, masks are required to enter the stadium. They can be removed provided you are socially distant, but are required in common spaces.
As of Tuesday, all tickets for Friday’s home football game were sold out. The link for purchasing tickets may be found on the district webpage at www.usd268.org.
The Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League and Patriot League have recommended a capacity of 25 percent for each venue, along with masks and temperature checks when possible. Clearwater participants will be issued four wristbands or vouchers for their events. On-court and on-field presence will be limited to essential personnel. Masks are required at all times in USD 264 buildings. At outdoors events, masks need to be worn when entering and exiting the building, in restroom and concession areas, and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Spectators should sit in family groups and six feet apart from others. League, district and BOE passes are discontinued. Please bring exact change when possible to help limited exchanges between patrons and workers. Once you leave an event, you will not be readmitted.
Capacity at TK Shinn Field and in the high school and middle school gymnasiums will be limited to 25 percent capacity. Masks are required at all indoor events and temperature checks will be done when possible. Spectators will need to sit with family units and socially distance from others. Masks are required at outdoor events unless you are able to be socially distant. Elementary children will need to stay with their parents. League passes are not being accepted.
Masks are required at all indoor events and temperatures will be checked at entry. At outdoor events, masks may be removed if you are able to be socially distant. Spectators should sit with their family units and remain socially distant. Wear your mask in concession areas, ticket lines and restrooms.
There are no Central Plains League passes this year, and the school is not selling family plans. Hand sanitizing stations will be available. Expect concessions to be modified.
Attendance at Goddard and Eisenhower high schools will be limited to family members of students and staff actively participating. Active participants includes players, coaches, cheer, dance team, mascots and marching band. Fans are asked to sit together as families and to social distance themselves from other family members.
The schools are working to set up a new online ticketing option through TicketSpricket. Eventually, fans will be able to purchase tickets in advance or at the gate with credit or debit card. Until then, participants must submit names at the gate. All passes are suspended until spectator restrictions are limited.
Masks will be required to enter and exit. Concessions will not be offered. Game rosters will be available electronically through QR codes.
Right now, Campus High School and the middle schools are providing two passes for each participant in a sporting event. That includes local Haysville teams as well as the visiting school. The goal is to limit participation to 25 percent of capacity. In the main gymnasium at Campus High School, seating will be limited to the mezzanine. Campus High School will not be taking any passes this fall. That includes league and senior citizen passes and district Ids.