Although Whidbey sports fans will have limited opportunities to show their spirit, they can still cheer for their favorite players online.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association limits to 200 the number of people allowed at sporting events during Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. That number includes players, coaches, support staff and fans.
Whidbey’s three school districts have made arrangements for spectators to watch the action on their screens.
In-person fans are allowed at home games on a limited basis, but no fans from rival teams are allowed.
Oak Harbor athletes have already made their virtual debut on oakharborathletics.com.
The Wildcats unfortunately lost the football game to Ferndale Eagles last Saturday, Feb. 20, 41-7.
Despite the loss, Coach Marcus Hughes said he is still proud of the student athletes.
“We were better than we were last year,” Hughes said.
“I was just excited about the opportunity for these kids to get to play a football game especially considering we didn’t know if we were going to have a season four or five months ago.”
Matt Williams teaches students how to set up the Wildcat TV equipment to livestream games. Students work in teams of six per game and run the cameras, mix it together and push a signal out to viewers online.
“A lot of families are missing out right now, so being able to offer this experience and being part of their students’ games is exciting,” Williams said.
Coupeville fans can watch the Wolves play on nfhsnetwork.com. Search for Coupeville High School on the website.
The school will broadcast sports played at the stadium and the high school gym.
However, if a fan does attend a game, masks are required and fans are asked to social distance if they do attend in person, Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith explained in an email to parents.
Track and field is the only sport that no fans will be able to attend in-person because of the 200-person limit on capacity.
“It is simply a numbers issue,” Smith’s email said.
The next games available to view online are junior varsity and varsity volleyball on April 10 against Friday Harbor, according to the streaming website.
Athletic Director Paul Lagerstedt said the school district was working toward online broadcast capabilities for stadium sports.
Staff will need to figure out a wifi connection at the stadium, he said, and fans will be able to watch games through the school district’s website.
“Once we see what our mobility is once we get outside and get the stadium going, it will be great,” Lagerstedt said.
The girls soccer team played the Falcons first home game of the year. The girls won against Overlake, 2-1, on Thursday, Feb. 25.
“We’re excited to get going,” he said.
“We got a new league this year. It’s really nice to see our kids being part of a Falcons team.”