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COVID scare abruptly ends spring sports; fall aims to start Nov. 2


October 28, 2020

The spring “mini season” ended abruptly for Sweet Home athletes Thursday, Oct. 22, when the school district officials announced they were canceling sports through the end of this week after an athlete developed “a presumptive case of COVID-19.”

An Oct. 22 letter from Supt. Tom Yahraes did not identify the athlete, but Yahraes said “contact tracing is under way and we are working with the Linn County Health Department to notify all individuals who may have been exposed” to that student or to a staff member at Sweet Home Junior High who, he said, had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“We’re done with spring sports mini season,” said high school Athletic Director Nate Tyler.

The move resulted in the cancellation of a baseball game, a softball game and a track meet that were scheduled Thursday and Friday of last week. Also, a make-up baseball game scheduled for Monday of this week was canceled.

If all goes well, the six-week mini season for fall sports – football, volleyball, soccer and cross-country – will begin Monday, Nov. 2.

Tyler said the athlete thought to have COVID-19 did not display the more than two symptoms necessary to be tested by the county Health Department.

“We’re kind of in limbo,” he said Friday.

Tyler said he made the decision to call off the rest of the “spring” season because it wasn’t culminating in playoffs. The contests were essentially scrimmages.

“We think it’s better to play it safe than potentially risk spreading it to more athletes, shutting down the possibility of us coming back to school or starting the OSAA seasons,” he said. “The symptoms can take a little while to show up. This gives us a chance to make sure, if we resume sports, that we’re safe and healthy.”

Registration for fall sports is open through the high school’s FamilyID page on the high school’s webpage. Football will practice Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Boys soccer will practice Mondays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and girls soccer will practice Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. All outdoor sports will practice at Husky Field.

Volleyball will practice in the Main Gym and participants will be apprised of the practice schedule when they sign up.

Tyler said he has interest from other schools for soccer games and he hopes to have some seven-on-seven football competitions. He also hopes to arrange a “small” cross-country event “where it’s our team and one other team with similar numbers,” he said.

Volleyball will be more difficult because indoor competitions are not allowed by the state.

“We will have to explore playing on the turf field (in Husky Stadium) if we want to have any kind of volleyball,” Tyler said.


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