Winter and spring sports competition start for 4A and 3A teams this week


No ticket sales for indoor sports as capacity will be limited

It’s basketball season for the Class 4A and 3A high school programs in Southwest Washington.

It’s also baseball and softball season. 

At the same time.

The Camas girls basketball team, shown here last year, is preparing for its 2021 season with a start in April. Girls and boys basketball teams are scheduled to play this week in the Class 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens Leagues. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Camas girls basketball team, shown here last year, is preparing for its 2021 season with a start in April. Girls and boys basketball teams are scheduled to play this week in the Class 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens Leagues. Photo by Mike Schultz

There are high school sports seasons, and then there is a high school sports mega season.

Today begins an unprecedented mega season.

The Class 2A and 1A schools have been playing traditional spring sports for a couple of weeks now. 

The 4A and 3A schools will start with spring and winter sports this week. Oh, and when adding girls swimming, there will be sports from the fall, as well.

All of this is in an effort to give opportunities for athletes in all sports to compete during the pandemic.

These sporting events also give a chance for fans to get a look at some of the athletes. But not all fans for all sports. The indoor sports will have restrictions.

Rory Oster, the athletic director at Camas High School and the president of the 4A Greater St. Helens League, said there will be no ticket sales for basketball and wrestling events.

Instead, each athlete will receive two tickets to invite whoever they want to attend. Members of cheer squads will also be given two tickets each. 

Riley McCarthy, shown here as a sophomore in 2019, is back for one final baseball season as a senior with the Mountain View Thunder. Photo by Mike Schultz
Riley McCarthy, shown here as a sophomore in 2019, is back for one final baseball season as a senior with the Mountain View Thunder. Photo by Mike Schultz

Every school district might have a minor change or two to that overall plan, but Oster said fans should not expect to show up, buy a ticket, and be allowed in to watch a basketball game or a wrestling dual.

Swimming and bowling competitions, which are held at off-campus properties, are no-spectator events.

For outdoor sports, such as baseball and softball, fans are expected to adhere to social distance guidelines and to wear masks. 

Oster said he and the other athletic directors share in the disappointment for fans of basketball and wrestling. Basketball, after all, is traditionally the most attended high school sport after football.

ADs, Oster said, want nothing more than to return to normal procedures on game days.

“That’s the best thing for kids, the best thing for parents, the best thing for community members. We all want it,” Oster said. “But the No. 1 priority is our kids are playing. We’re going to follow every rule to ensure that No. 1 goal is met. We want them to get a season in.”

COVID-19 numbers have been on the rise throughout Washington. Cowlitz County, in fact, fell into Phase 2. If that were to happen in Clark County, indoor sports could be shut down.

Oster said the league is doing everything it can to maintain a winter sports season.

As with the fall sports season that recently ended for 4A and 3A teams, Oster said the plan is for all, or most, games to be live-streamed on the internet.

A reminder: The 4A and 3A schools are holding winter and spring sports at the same time. The 2A and 1A schools are competing in spring sports now and planning for a winter sports season later this academic year.

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