The year 2020 has been full of unanswered questions, one being high school athletics. Other than attending in-person school, one of the burning questions that the community, teachers, parents, and especially student-athletes have is if there are going to any winter/spring sports.
With many new COVID-19 measures being taken, Mount Hood has opened up its resorts for both snowboarders and skiers. Popular among Camas students are Meadows and Timberline resorts. CHS students have been making their way up to the mountain as the season is getting into full swing. Passes to go up to the Mountain have been very limited due to the pandemic and saferty precautions have been taken very seriously.
Jacob Howell, the CHS sports medicine teacher, has been skiing since he was four years old.
He said, “My parents used to take my brother and me up for ski school every Sunday like it was church.”
Over the past years, he has been running a Camas ski bus going up to the mountain every week. This year it has sadly stopped due to Covid, but if you want to go up to the mountain this year contact Mr. Howell. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on packages/passes to go up to the mountain.
CHS Junior Tyler Stewart said, “I normally go up to the mountain one to two times a week. Wednesdays are the perfect day to go up because there is no school and you get to avoid large crowds and have easy parking.”
Another CHS Junior, Soren Christensen, said, “Near the lodge and on lifts, you need to be wearing masks and staff gives constant reminders for skiers and snowboarders.” All around he thinks that is the main difference for this year at the mountain other than the limited passes given out.”
The WIAA has put out guidelines and plans for the future of sports during the pandemic.
Its plan to determine if sports can return involves“using the statistical benchmarks of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in a given county as well as the percentage of positive tests.”
The WIAA has used this guidance from the Department of Health to develop new general, as well as sport-specific, return-to-play guidelines. This will replace the guidelines previously tied to phasing in with Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.
Also according to the WIAA, “County benchmarks will be used to determine which sports or activities are recommended to take place based on COVID-19 activity in the county.”
Although this year has been full of negatives, CHS physical education and defensive linemen coach Les Albert is optimistic about sports returning in the spring.
“Football is one of the hardest sports to deal with COVID-19 due to how many people are on the team. If the Covid rates drop and we start our season when we are supposed to (March 8) they should let the rest of the sports happen too,” he said.
Students are still trying to stay active despite the unique circumstances.
CHS Senior Connor Hayward said, “I’m just trying to stay in good shape. I’m still running every day and it’s a great excuse to get out of the house.”
Driving by Doc Harris now and seeing no bright lights, hearing no band, no fans, and parents in the stands getting rowdy sure does bring a hollow feeling to most athletes.
CHS Senior Richard Braskett said, “I hope they end up happening because sports is a huge part of high school, and for us seniors, not having a senior season could ruin the senior experience for us all.”
Camasonian journalists Luke Dizon and Zach Gittings contributed to this article.