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On Feb. 26, Lincoln County will officially be deemed Low Risk for COVID-19 per the state’s framework, and the Lincoln County School District (LCSD) plans to take full advantage of that privilege by rolling out a full slate of athletic games starting March 2.

To start the season, Taft 7-12 now has contests scheduled for cross country, boys and girls soccer, volleyball and football. LCSD plans to operate all of its athletic events under the direction of Oregon Sector Guidance at a Lower Risk level, which means that onsite testing is no longer required by the state for contact football and player pad progression will resume on Feb. 26. The first contact football contest has been pushed to March 12 to meet pad progression requirements.

Contact football had been in question while Lincoln County was in High Risk but with the county’s improved classification, Superintendent Karen Gray said they have no intention of moving backward in contest offerings and will meet all requirements to maintain contact football unless the decision is made outside of their control.

“We plan on remaining with contact football unless otherwise directed by the state or county guidance,” Gray said.

Although sports have been given the ‘OK’ to resume, it’s looking likely that student athletes will be playing without spectators in the stands, at least for now.

“Although we will begin to evaluate spectator attendance, we are not adding spectators beyond senior nights to our events just yet,” said Majalise Tolan, secondary director for LCSD. “It is important for LCSD coaches, staff and student-athletes to develop safe and equitable spectator procedures and are re-evaluating current game management practices, supervision expectations, and processes under this new guidance.

“We know families are excited to watch their student-athletes play and will try to have streaming options available as often as possible.”

Taft 7-12 Athletic Director Matt Hilgers said the streaming options will be offered through NFHS Network. Subscriptions for NFHS Network are $10.99 monthly or $69.99 annually. The fee allows for full access to live regular season and postseason events as well as those available on-demand.

Hilgers has posted all the scheduled contests on the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) website. Scheduled games are subject to change.

Taft boys soccer kicks off the season at Tillamook High School on March 2, followed by a game at Newport on March 3. Both games are scheduled for 4 p.m.

The girls soccer team will also play at Newport on March 3. The game is slated for a 6 p.m. start time.

The volleyball, football and cross country schedules feature only Lincoln County competition. Volleyball starts their season March 3 with a home game against Waldport followed by another home game March 5 against Toledo. Both games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Cross country currently has just two meets on the schedule. The first will be March 6 in Toledo, starting at 10 a.m. The second will be at Taft 7-12 on March 10, starting at 3 p.m.

Lastly, the football team will host Toledo for a flag football game on March 5, starting at 7 p.m., followed by a full contact game against Newport, at home, on March 12. That game also starts at 7 p.m.

See the full schedules online here.

“We appreciate and honor the work our families, staff, and student-athletes have been doing to follow safe and healthy procedures since resuming sports on October 12, 2020,” Tolan said. “We will not take this new status lightly and will continue visual screening of student-athletes and staff, frequent sanitation of equipment, physical distancing when not in direct competition, wearing masks, and washing/sanitizing our hands. We want to stay safe and stay open.”

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