While there won’t be a crowd cheering from the stands due to current COVID-19 guidelines, members of the Siuslaw Vikings football team will still have a chance to hit the gridiron this Friday in a 7-on-7 match-up against Sweet Home at Hans Petersen Field.
Due to a 50-person limit in or near the stadium, no spectators can be allowed into the stands or even around the field, including the fence line.
According to SHS athletic Director Chris Johnson, any violation of that restriction will force the immediate cancellation of the game.
However, fans should be able to live-stream the game on the NFHS Network for a small online fee.
It’s been more than a year, early November 2019 in a playoff game at Hidden Valley, since Hans Petersen Field has had Vikings on its hash-marked grasses. However, unlike the last game in 2019, the Viks will field a starting line-up of just seven players this Friday, with the game being divided into two 30-minute halves and a 5-minute halftime.
Head coach Sam Johnson said he the team are excited to play against The Huskies.
“They have some really talented players on their team. They have a player who has already committed to Western Oregon to play quarterback,” Johnson said. “It will be a great opportunity for our kids to get some exposure to tough competition from the 4A division.”
The Vikings football team remains in the 3A classification this season following the OSAA-decision to allow the team to drop down a classification two years ago.
For Friday’s contest, coaches will be in charge of maintaining the proper in-person limits by monitoring the entrance and maintain the 50-person limit for teams and coaches.
Currently, football still hasn’t officially been added to the fall sports line-up by the state or the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), whose Executive Board will meet again Feb. 8 to reach a final decision, at which time the board is expected to announce its plans for sports through the end of the school year.
That same day, on Feb. 8, football practice are scheduled to begin, with the Vikings in hopes of kicking off their season March 5 at La Pine —pending OSAA and state approval.
If not, football could potentially be moved to mid May, along with other contact sports such as basketball and wrestling.