Smoke stifles Northern Nevada prep athletics
Conditions stemming from the Rim Fire burning near Yosemite are have impacted sports activities around Northern Nevada.
In Churchill County, the high school sports calendar has been reduced to indoor walkthroughs, practices and meetings.
Churchill County High School called off all outdoor activities Friday through Tuesday. Today’s practices are still to be determined.
The smoke has been frustrating for all impacted as the regular season begins next week and has hindered conditioning efforts. The football scrimmage against Fernley has been rescheduled for Thursday, while the boys soccer team’s annual alumni game is Wednesday.
The football, girls soccer and cross country teams have been relegated to the Elmo Dericco Gym for workouts. The boys soccer team has not been on the field, but moved practice to the classroom to discuss this weekend’s upcoming preseason tournament in Spring Creek.
Douglas High School’s programs, meanwhile, have had practices either cancelled or moved indoors since Thursday. All practices at the Minden school were conducted indoors Monday and Tuesday. In addition, the status of events scheduled for Thursday and Friday remain uncertain.
Decisions on the junior varsity football game scheduled for Thursday night at 5 p.m. and the freshman team’s opener at Incline on Friday will be made later this week.
A decision on the varsity team’s season kickoff at Reno High is expected to be made on Thursday, according to coach Ernie Monfiletto.
The season-opening Douglas Class Races cross country meet scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday at Lampe Park is also up in the air.
To the south in Mono County, Coleville High football coach Will Sandy reports the time on Saturday has been changed for the team’s season opener. The game has been rescheduled for 10 a.m.
“The air quality has been better in the morning, and we feel this is the only way to get the game in,” Sandy noted.
Donnie Nelson, assistant director for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, acknowledged all western Nevada high schools are facing the same conditions in regard to whether games will be played.
“We’re in a wait-and-see mode right now,” Nelson said, adding that authority for game schedules has been issued to the individual school districts.
“Nobody wants to pull the plug, but the games are secondary to health of the student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans.”
Nelson added that football games called off this weekend will be cancelled and not postponed. Fallon hosts Wooster at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6.
“There are no league games scheduled, nothing that would impact playoff scenarios, so we will just move on to the next week,” he said.
Lahontan Valley News Sports Editor Steve Puterski contributed to this report.