The first Spartan sporting events of the school year are coming the first week of March.
Wesco league athletic directors gave their final approval Wednesday to start high school sports seasons. The seasons for traditional fall sports start Feb. 22 with a week of practices and then five weeks of competitions.
“It’s exciting, but there’s lots of work to do,”Stanwood High school athletic director Tom Wilfong said of the Wesco plan.
Players, coaches and teams will need to strictly follow all the guidelines and procedures to ensure the seasons happen.
“Now we have to make sure we can keep the seasons going,” he said.
Some notable COVID-related protocols include no postgame greetings between teams, teams providing their own water and neither team meeting in locker rooms at halftime.
Though Snohomish County remains in Phase 2, spectators cannot attend contests for now.
“That’s a league decision,” Wilfong said, even though the state allows up to 200 people at outdoor sporting events and up to 200 people or 25% capacity, whichever is less, at indoor events. Those numbers include athletes, coaches, referees, other staff, cheerleaders and fans.
“You could get up close to 200 people really quick before you get to the fans,” Wilfong said. “Above all, the plan is to get the kids back on the fields, on the courts, in the pools. It’s not to give people a game to go watch.”
However, home schools will be able to live-stream or broadcast games online. Wilfong said that is something Stanwood is considering.
The league will attempt to limit travel, trying to keep the schedules as geographically focused as possible. Schedules should be released online soon.
Stanwood High School athletes started official practices in late January, wearing masks and following other safety rules. As of Feb. 2, 205 students had joined practices in Stanwood, Wilfong said.
- Fall sports — football, cross country, girls soccer, volleyball, boys tennis and girls swim — could start practicing Feb. 22, start playing games March 1 and end on April 3.
- Spring sports — baseball, softball, golf, boys soccer, girls tennis, and track and field — could start practice March 29, games on April 5 and end on May 8.
- Winter sports — basketball, boys swimming and wrestling — would start practice May 3, competitions on May 10 and end June 12.
Wesco schools will not participate in any culminating championship events.
Meanwhile, middle school league athletic directors are meeting to discuss athletic opportunities for students.