Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge high schools will start contact sports Sept. 1

Start dates change following green light from governor

PHIL KEREN
Reporter
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance at Cuyahoga Falls High School's football games at Clifford Stadium this season will be restricted to 15 percent of the venue's capacity. The Black Tigers will be their first football game on Sept. 4.

In response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement this week that contact sports can move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts are changing their start dates for those athletic seasons.

The Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge school districts had initially postponed the start of moderate to high contact sports until Oct. 1, a move which aligned with a recommendation made earlier in the summer by Summit County Public Health.

In a letter to district families on Friday, Cuyahoga Falls High School athletic director Ken Johnson announced that contact sports in the Cuyahoga Falls district will now start in early September. Football, cheerleading and marching band are all scheduled to start on Sept. 4, while soccer will begin on Sept. 1. In the non-contact sports category, cross country starts Aug. 26 and volleyball begins Aug. 25, while golf and girls tennis have already started their competitions.

Tallmadge High School athletic director Tim Mosher confirmed all of the Blue Devils teams will move forward with competition.

Tallmadge also announced earlier this summer it was following the SCPH recommendation.

“Tentatively, we are set to start the moderate-high risk sports of soccer and football on Sept. 1,” Mosher said. “That means soccer can play an opponent on Sept. 1, 2 and so on, and football would be on that Friday, Sept. 4.”

Johnson’s letter also lists rules and guidelines for spectators. The Cuyahoga Falls High School Athletic Department will not give out passes to any games this season. Attendance at games will be restricted to no more than 15% of the venue’s capacity. The maximum number of people allowed at each Cuyahoga Falls High School venue will be: Clifford Stadium, 1,095; Laybourne Field, 150; and the high school gymnasium, 412.

For home football games, four tickets will be issued to each player, cheerleader, and marching band member for immediate family/household members. Visiting teams will receive two tickets for each player and cheerleader.

For home volleyball games, four tickets will be issued to each freshman, JV, and varsity player for immediate family/household members. For home boys and girls soccer games, four tickets will be issued to each JV and varsity player for immediate family/household members. For volleyball and soccer, visiting teams will receive two tickets for each player.

For away games in all sports, each home team will determine the amount of tickets that Cuyahoga Falls will receive, Johnson wrote.

Additional attendance rules for Cuyahoga Falls High School athletic events are:

1. All spectators must have a ticket to enter the stadium or gymnasium.

2. All tickets will be $7 for adults, and $4 for student and seniors.

3. All spectators must wear a mask at all times.

4. Spectators must sit with their immediate family/household members and stay 6 feet from others.

5. Gates will be closed 20 minutes after kickoff and will remain closed. There will be no re-entry this year.

6. Concessions and concession stands will be limited with products.

Editor’s note: Akron Beacon Journal Reporter Michael Beaven contributed to this story.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.

Tallmadge High School is now planning to start contact sports on Sept. 1.