Waterville High School took its first step towards a return to athletics Friday afternoon.

Athletic Director Kieth Finkbeiner announced that Dr. Malcolm Butler with the Chelan-Douglas Health District has granted the school permission to resume limited sporting activities.

The health district provided specific conditions for this exemption:

  • All sporting activities must be conducted outdoors.
  • Student-athletes must remain in pods of no more than five individuals.
  • Pods must remain constant day to day, but can alternate sports and coaches daily. Each coach can only work with one pod per day.
  • Face coverings must be worn and social distancing practiced by everyone involved.

Finkbeiner said he plans to survey students to see who would like to participate. He will then meet remotely with coaches to organize student-athlete pods and arrange a schedule of which sport individual pods will participate in each day.

He added that the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association previously announced it would be treating Sept. 28 through Nov. 30 like it normally treats the summer months. This means coaches can provide specific instruction for their sports, but athletes cannot be required to participate.

Superintendent Tabitha Mires said the clearance will also allow for some additional outdoor educational opportunities. She said teachers are already discussing how to best utilize this exemption for that purpose.

“We are excited to move ahead and anticipate several area schools also moving forward in the coming weeks,” she said.