Fall sports begin play later this month

by Dennis Rahm, additional information released by Chelan School District

It’s been nearly one year since the last Chelan or Manson High School athletic event was held due to COVID-19 restrictions. In a revised and abbreviated season for all sports, competition is once again scheduled to resume later this month for the Fall sports of football, volleyball, girls soccer, cross-country, and cheer.

The Lake Chelan School District announced this week that the first two weeks of the season from February 22 through March 7 will be played without any fans in attendance.  Chelan Athletic Director Scott Paine said he is optimistic that a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend athletic events after the initial two week evaluation period. Even if fans are allowed to attend events, it will be in a very limited capacity.

Paine said the agreement amongst area schools is that games and matches will be limited to home fans only. If and when spectators are allowed, contests will be limited to 200 people and that number includes players, coaches, officials, scorekeepers and other game personnel. Football will be the most limited to a local fan base due to the large size of the rosters. There may be as few as 30 seats available for a home football game with parents likely given priority.

Read below for the complete text of the school district release regarding high school athletic events.

School District Media Release

The Chelan County school districts recently announced that no spectators will be permitted to attend high school athletic events due to COVID-19 restrictions. This decision will provide time to evaluate the effectiveness of physical distancing and safety protocol changes developed to allow a safe return to sports first and foremost for the students playing in our school athletic programs.

The Lake Chelan School District will begin with no spectators to acclimate our school with the new mitigation strategies for team, cheerleaders, officials, medical personnel and event staff, and reduce the chances that schedules may be impacted by inadvertent exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

The schools in Chelan County feel that this is necessary to prevent the unnecessary gathering of crowds and the spread that occurs when crowds gather. We also feel that this is a reasonable compromise that will be effective in keeping infection rates under control while allowing our student-athletes to perform in the programs they enjoy. Our hope is that this is a temporary strategy. It is within our control to bring the infection rate down and to keep our students, staff and community safe and healthy.

This decision applies only to the first two weeks (Feb. 22nd – March 7th) of the upcoming fall sports season. Separate decisions will be made as we continue to monitor local health data, health mitigation strategies and other factors. Chelan High School, and several other regional schools, have made a commitment to live stream as many contests as we can for fans to watch our events online on the NFHS Network.

We thank you for your continued support in our efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

About Chelan High School
Chelan High School is a 1A high school located in Chelan, Washington. CHS has a 9-12th grade student population of 451. CHS has 13 varsity teams that compete in the Caribou Trail League Athletic Conference. The superintendent is Barry DePaoli, the principal is Brad Wilson and the athletic director is Scott Paine

For more information about the Chelan Athletic Department visit the CHS athletics website at https://www.chelanathletics.com​ or call their office at ​509-682-4061.