SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced Friday that fans can attend fall high school sporting events in the fall with added regulations on capacity and distancing.
“The facilities will be expected to not go over 66% of capacity,” Hutchinson said. “They will be expected to socially distance.”
Fans will also be required to wear masks, Hutchinson said.
Jeff Conaway, Shiloh Christian’s head football coach, said every other row will be blocked off with a sign indicating fans need to sit elsewhere. He also said there will be information posted in the stadium reiterating guidelines.
“We’ve gone in with signs and basically limited every other row in our stadium,” Conaway said. “I just feel like we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it well, and we’re gonna do it better than everybody else to be honest with you.”
Conaway said the governor’s announcement brought joy to the whole team.
“For them to be able to play and also to have their families and friends in the stands watching them I think is great news,” Conaway said.
An athletic trainer is assigned to do contact tracing should someone with a positive COVID-19 case attend a game, Conaway said, and the school invested in infrared thermometers. Fans won’t do mass temperature checks to start, but Shiloh Christian will conduct these if necessary.
Braden Tutt is a senior receiver for the Saints, and he said his junior year ended much differently than he’d hoped.
“I didn’t really know what was going to happen,” Tutt said.
So, Tutt said he’s been looking forward to his final year as a football player, hoping the season would come to fruition during the pandemic.
“As a team, and me in particular, we’re excited to strap it up and play football,” Tutt said.
Tutt’s a highlight-reel player, and Hutchinson announcement meant loved ones could see him play. He said he’s relieved this is the case.
“I’m especially excited to see my family, my friends, my girlfriend of course,” Tutt said. “Yeah, we’re ready to play in front of some people we know.”