LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After holding off one week after the rest of the state started high school football, JCPS is ready to kick off football games this week as well as competitions in other sports like soccer and volleyball. Athletic directors outside the district are lending a hand when it comes to safety advice on and off the field.
JCPS also held scrimmages this past weekend for a procedural trial run and leaders are feeling good about what will hopefully be a safe week of play ahead.
“They were able to work out some of the kinks, I hope,” said Jerry Wyman, JCPS Director of Activities and Athletics, “we did have a meeting and just kind of de-briefed and it appears everything went pretty well.”
With safe practice and weekly Zoom meetings with JCPS athletic directors and those from private schools and other counties who have already been on the field, Wyman feels concerns have been addressed. Wyman said that includes any issues the athletes may face and for the fans, who will come to see them play a little differently, at 20 percent capacity. It’s a little odd, but it worked at other schools Friday night, as they operated under the new Kentucky High School Athletic Association COVID-19 protocols.
“Any game they come to, whether it’s a volleyball match or soccer match or a football game this week,” Wyman explained, “we will temperature check those folks, we will ask the questions we need to ask as far as screening, there will be signs up and then we will ask that everybody to adhere to all those policies.”
Everything from making sure masks are on to keeping players and cheerleaders spaced out on sidelines and inside buses, limiting the press box capacity and keeping concessions simple.
“Everything has to be pre-packaged for concession stands,” Wyman said, “and really limiting the number of people in a concession stand, making most of it outside.”
Wyman, who said they have talked through just about everything they thing they could talk through, said there are a lot of changes, but it’s doable with a common goal.
“One of the things that motivates them to continue to do well in school is to play sports,” Wyman said of the students, “there’s a reason we attach sports to schools, they walk hand in hand with each other. So, it’s exciting.”
Private schools like Saint Xavier report, everything went well. Denny Williams, the St. X athletic director, said from taking temperatures to their new digital ticketing, Friday went smoothly. The only issue? Williams said from time to time they had to remind fans in the stands to keep their masks on.