Thomas Ranson/LVN, file
Fernley football fans will be allowed to attend the March 27 game in Fallon after approval by the Churchill County School District.
One of the most competitive rivalries in the region will see fans from both teams later this month.
The Churchill County School District during Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting approved the high school's proposal to include two visiting fans per Fernley senior for the cross-valley rivalry football game on March 27 in Fallon.
“We believe it is just the right thing to do in such a crazy time in the world that we can support as many young people as we can,” ChurchillCSD Superintendent Summer Stephens said. “Their field was damaged by a flash flood and we totally understand the importance of family and support and sportsmanship. (It’s) just a small way to support them.”
Fernley’s football team is playing its entire schedule on the road this season due to flooding damage to the school’s field last year. The Vaqueros, who defeated the Greenwave in last season’s state championship, won their first
game of the season on Saturday in a “home” game against Elko.
“That is awesome to see it and that’s it going to happen. It’s great for these kids,” Fernley football coach Chris Ward said. “I’m glad that it’s a healthy rivalry. I would like to think if the situation were reversed, we would do the same thing for anyone else in the league.”
Ward said that water and sediment got underneath the pad of the artificial turf, resulting in the field failing the impact test. Ward compared the conditions to playing on concrete. Fortunately for Fernley, the field was due for replacement since it was first installed 12 years ago.
“It wouldn’t be worth the risk for injuries,” said Ward, whose team practices in the upper-level fields behind the school.
Fallon, which allows two fans per Greenwave senior for its home football games, will increase its gathering limitation from 100 to 250 to align with the state’s updated directive regarding large gatherings. Large gatherings are limited to 50% capacity or 250 without a submitted plan.
Currently, Fallon does not allow the general public or visiting fans to attend Greenwave home contests.
Fernley played at Silver Stage High School and will play at Dayton later in the season when fans will be allowed for the senior players per the Lyon County School District.
“We were very appreciative that Elko came down to play us at Silver Stage,” said Ward, who added that his program should play at home beginning in fall 2021. “Playing Churchill and Dayton are going to feel like home games. We’re very glad for the opportunity for our seniors. That’s for sure.”
Fallon opened its season with a 38-7 win over Spring Creek, which defeated Fernley 7-6 two weeks ago, on Saturday and travels to Elko this weekend.
All home Greenwave games are streamed live on the NFHS Network. All games, including away, are broadcast on the radio (KKTU-FM 99.5) with Larry Barker and Randy Beeghly on the call.