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Tue, Sept. 22

Attendance at Mingus home events will be limited

Mingus Union football players participate in a drill this week. The Marauders are set to host their home opener of Friday, Oct. 9, and each football and volleyball student-athlete will receive two spectator tickets in order to minimize the number of fans in the bleachers. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Mingus Union football players participate in a drill this week. The Marauders are set to host their home opener of Friday, Oct. 9, and each football and volleyball student-athlete will receive two spectator tickets in order to minimize the number of fans in the bleachers. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD — The Mingus Union High School athletics department is only allowing two tickets for football and volleyball players this fall.

That’s what a document released Friday, Sept. 11, spells out for COVID-19 occupancy restrictions at MUHS-hosted athletic competition this fall. In addition to one ticket being issued to each member of the Marauder swim team, Mingus Athletic Director Yancey DeVore said the limitations are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We don’t have any choice — this is a decision made far above my head,” DeVore said Friday. “These are from the state level.”

The Mingus football team is set to open its season Oct. 2 at Flagstaff, with its home opener Oct. 9, 7 p.m. against Mohave. Volleyball and swimming schedules haven’t been released yet, and the cross country schedule is still being put together.

Each football, volleyball and cheer student-athlete — both Mingus Union and from visiting teams — will be issued two tickets for each competition MUHS hosts. The students can give those tickets out to whomever they choose.

DeVore said that for football games, if there turns out to be more fans for one team than another, Mingus staff will consider moving some fans to the opposite side of the field. Everyone must have face coverings.

Only one ticket will be issued to each swimmer, as the Cottonwood outdoor pool used by the Marauders for meets has limited capacity inside the fenced area.

Cross country and golf will not have tickets distributed. Fans are expected to physically distance, and to wear face coverings.

“The key is just to keep everyone six feet apart as much as possible,” he said.

For volleyball, fans are asked to only be in the gymnasium for games that involve the player they’re supporting.

There will be no concessions at fall-sport venues. DeVore said all of the protocols only apply to fall competition at this point as winter sports will be addressed at a later date.

DeVore said football is not automatically cleared to start playing Oct. 2. Yavapai County, which has had significant decreases in categories related to the spread of COVID-19, must reach a minimal-risk benchmark before full-contact sports are permitted.

Face coverings will be required on bus trips for athletics as well.

DeVore said there were no problems reported with coverings in the girls golf team’s Sept. 9 bus trip to a course in the Kingman area. While wearing a face covering in a larger group — such as the freshman football team’s planned trip to Bullhead City — might be more of a challenge and a test of endurance, DeVore said the students going through this era will be mentally stronger going forward.

DeVore said most parents understand that coaches and school administrators aren’t the ones who are creating guidelines and restrictions.
“Most of the questions I get are about how long, when, etc., rather than questioning us about it,” DeVore said. “And we hope all parents will continue to be understanding in this way.”

DeVore said parents frequently ask why athletics is allowed to go on even though regular on-campus classes aren’t set to begin until Thursday, Sept. 17.

“Keeping everyone safe outdoors — or even in a gym — is nothing like the same safety in hallways and classrooms,” DeVore said.

Here are the full fall-sport directives sent out by Mingus athletics Sept. 11:

-Football/Cheer: Each player competing will get two tickets. They can be distributed how the family sees fit. All adults must adhere to wearing a face covering (mask or shield) while on our campus and practice social distancing.

The opposing team will be sent the same number of tickets for them to distribute how they see fit; however, they will have to adhere to the same guidelines.

-Volleyball: Same as football with the exception, families will have to leave after each game (FR/JV/V game), they will not be permitted to stay if their daughter is not playing.

-Golf and Cross Country: Parents must wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Must follow proper protocols as per the course for which the team is playing on.

-Swimming: We will be offering virtual meets only. We will issue one ticket per athlete, this is due to the limited seating capacity of the city pool. They can be distributed how the family sees fit.

All adults must adhere to wearing a face covering (mask or shield) while at the event and practice social distancing.

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