PITTSBURGH — High school sports are expected to return to normal this fall season. Last year many teams faced a lot of challenges due to the pandemic.
Now coaches and student-athletes are looking forward to having a regular season.
“Friday nights are going to look a lot like how they used to. You know, the pandemic was very scary. The pandemic has not left, but we’re comfortable enough with outside sports now that we can conduct an event safely,” explained Don Holl, Gateway’s Athletic Director.
Gateway’s athletic director says there are no capacity limits this year, so fans, bands, cheerleaders and visitors can freely attend football games. Concession stands are back too.
As for masks, Gateway is requiring fans, coaches and players on the sidelines to be masked up for indoor sports like volleyball. But this requirement does not apply to outdoor sports.
However, some schools like Mars Area School District are not making it a requirement.
“It’s going to be up to the individual student or individual person to wear a mask if you want to wear one you can,” explained Mars Athletic Director Scott Heinauer.
For away games, everyone will have to wear a mask on the bus and that’s a mandate.
As some students are too young to be vaccinated and COVID-19 cases are surging, we were told schools are monitoring health and safety guidelines on a daily basis, as things can change quickly.
Athletic directors hope all sports this year will be able to return to play safely.
“Sports are important they are hugely important in a high school student’s experience but what’s way more important is their safety and long term health,” Holl explained.
The first Friday night football games will be held next Friday. Channel 11 was told that athletes are very eager to play again.