Athletes at Marshfield and North Bend high schools will be able to practice and have competitions against each other in several sports this fall after the school boards for both schools approved.
Marshfield students have already started practicing in several sports and North Bend students can begin practicing Tuesday, North Bend athletic director Mike Forrester said.
Competitions will start in late September.
There will be two “seasons,” the first running through Oct. 24 and the second starting Oct. 26.
The first season will include track and field, volleyball (which will be played outdoors when the schools meet), baseball, softball, cheer and marching band.
The second will include seven-on-seven football, soccer, basketball, drama and forensics.
“I’m just excited that we are providing an opportunity for our students,” Marshfield athletic director Greg Mulkey said. “It’s been a long time they’ve had to endure this pandemic and a very difficult time for them.
“I’m thankful both boards supported this. They understand how important this is for our kids for the social and mental aspect to have this opportunity.”
North Bend will not charge students to participate, but they must sign up on FamilyID before they can participate, Forrester said.
There is no statewide sports schedule this fall.
The Oregon School Activities Association postponed the regular fall season for sports until the new year as part of a plan that will have reduced seven-week seasons for all regular sports and activities starting at the end of December.
Traditional winter sports — basketball, wrestling and swimming — will be held first, with practice starting Dec. 28, the first contests the week of Jan. 11 and the OSAA week of postseason March 1-7.
Fall sports will come next, with practice starting Feb. 22 for cross country, volleyball, soccer and football and the first contests the week of March 8 (March 15 for football). The season-ending OSAA week will be April 26-May 2 for cross country, volleyball and soccer and a week later for football.
And spring sports — golf, tennis, track and field, baseball and softball — will begin practice the week of April 19, with contests starting the week of May 3 and the OSAA week the week of June 21.
As for the various activities sponsored by OSAA, the OSAA week for cheerleading will be the week of March 8, dance and drill April 12, speech April 19, solo music April 26, choir May 3 and band/orchestra May 10.
Many of the first students competing this fall will be having their first actual competitions in more than a year since the baseball, softball and track and field seasons were canceled in the spring as the pandemic broke out.
Mulkey said that was part of the reason they are part of the first group of teams in action this fall.
“But at the same time, we had to offer the programs that really fit best during this time frame because of the weather,” he said.
Volleyball is included in that group since it will be played outside on the football fields when the teams meet.
He stressed that participating in the fall season is voluntary.
“That includes our coaches,” he said. “They’ve been very supportive, too. They understand how important it is.”
The schedule for the fall competitions between the schools, which will include several games in each sport and four track meets — two at each school — will be included in a future print edition of The World.