Sequim’s practice and sporting venues will be mostly silent for the next few weeks, with concern of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, effectively shutting down youth sports activities across the Sequim area.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order to close all K-12 schools through April 24, effectively eliminating the first half of spring prep sports seasons.
A number of Olympic League schools — North Kitsap, Kingston, Bremerton, Olympic, Klahowya, Central Kitsap, Crosspoint and Bainbridge Island — were directed last week to suspend all athletic events and practices while schools on the Olympic Peninsula — Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Forks and Quilcene, along with North Mason — retained events amongst themselves.
But the overall school closure meant all extracurricular activities were suspended on the peninsula as well.
Sequim High spring sports seasons were due to kick off last week.
SHS athletic director Dave Ditlefsen said prep sports teams could play a modified season schedule and postseason when students return to school on Monday, April 27.
Sequim Little League
Following Gov. Inslee’s executive order closing K-12 schools across the state on March 13, the Sequim Little League officials suspended all activities from March 17-April 24 — the same dates as the statewide school closure.
“Thank you all for your support and understanding,” Sequim Little League Nick Simpson said in an announcement.
In a follow-up message, Simpson said he is looking at the positive side of the closure: “If the closures remain on schedule, we will only be a few days behind last year,” he wrote to Little League families. “Opening day was held on April 13 (last season), and all games ended up being canceled due to rain. Therefore, we don’t have to stress ourselves out about extending the season right now; we’re still on schedule.
“I like to look at the positive side, the delay will give us time with our children, perhaps a little one on one, to play catch, and hit balls if you can. I see a chance for me and my son to spend a little time together, something I don’t get to do often as a coach and president of the League. This minor setback gives us additional time to plan new or improve on some previous ideas.”
Simpson said the league will host its Opening Day ceremonies “as soon as possible.”
For more information, contact the league’s safety coordinator with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sequim Junior Soccer
Sequim Junior Soccer has announced that they will be postponing the start of practices until April 15 as a precaution under the current concerns over COVID-19.
Their current schedule of games will be pushed back until at least April 18 as well.
“In determining our actions, as always, the safety of our players and our community are our top priority,” SJS board directors said in a message sent to parents.
“We also take into consideration those in our community that interact with our families on a daily basis; this includes the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.”
The league’s announcement came before Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement on March 15 that gatherings of more than 50 people will be prohibited statewide.
SJS director David Henderson told the Sequim Gazette that they will stay in contact with Washington Youth Soccer and US Youth Soccer in the coming weeks and make decisions appropriate to their guidance and the situation.
As precautionary measures, SJS has announced a few changes to how they will be operating when they do eventually reopen, including asking players who are displaying any signs of illness to stay home. Their coaches and volunteers will also be trained and encouraged to make sure practices remain non-contact.
Concession sales have also been canceled for the season as a precaution to minimize potential contact points during SJS events.
Sequim Junior Soccer noted in their message to their families that the situation has been changing rapidly, and that they will be sending updates as available.
Information will also be posted on their website at www.sequimjuniorsoccer.com.