Smoke, COVID continue to be problems for high school football teams in Week 2

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:34 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It could come down to the final hour Friday before there is a solidified schedule for the first week of the Sports Caravan.

The high school football slate has a mix of regularly scheduled games, cancellations, and competitions moving to different days and locations.

KOLO 8 News Now talked to a handful of coaches around the area to get a gauge on how this smoke, and COVID is affecting the season so far.

Pershing County plays at Spring Creek Thursday night where the smoke out east is less of an issue. Mustangs Head Coach Mike Brooks says his team has still been compromised this year.

“We haven’t had it too bad,” Brooks said. “We practiced indoors once and conditioned indoors twice as smoke rolled in. It’s tough to see games, practices, and scrimmages being canceled especially after abbreviated seasons. I really feel for the kids and coaches who put in so much work.”

Other teams aren’t as lucky. Douglas at Center, California, cancelled.

Bishop Manogue at Bishop Gorman, cancelled.

Wooster at Carson, cancelled.

Denair, California at Sparks, cancelled.

Railroaders Head Coach Brad Rose has had to make adjustments on the fly.

“With COVID we at least know if we’re playing or not after testing,” Rose said. “Smoke on the other hand changes by the hour. It’s made practices unpredictable. We’ll start indoors then end up outside. Indoors you have a lot of obstacles. For a game that is all about structure and timing smoke makes that difficult.”

Friday’s Churchill County-Reed game is also cancelled. The Greenwave’s Brooke Hill says his team could only practice once this week.

“Dealing with the smoke has been very difficult especially under the backdrop of COVID and testing,” said Hill. “It’s really day-to-day.”

Then there are programs that had to move. Galena will travel to Lowry, and Damonte Ranch will compete at Central High School in California.

Truckee, which hasn’t had a home game in nearly two years, has done everything it can to get work in. Wolverines Head Coach Josh Ivens weighed in.

“Not knowing when and where you are going to practice each day is challenging. Our attitude is to make best of what situation we’re in or presented. It’s not easy but that’s our reality.”

The NIAA does not make decisions about games when it comes to COVID issues or smoke.

School districts and schools do.

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