High School Sports


EHHS reflects on playing without fans, Helena parents hope for change

Posted at 2:40 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 16:40:34-04

(Editor's Note: This article was published on Sept. 2 and was deleted. Since the original publish date, spectators are now able to be on the sidelines. That article can be found here.)

EAST HELENA -- The East Helena Vigilantes are off to a good start, they downed their first opponent Lockwood in their home opener 32-8 and as they get ready for their home opener on September 8, MTN Sports asked the players and the coaches to drawback on what it was like to play without fans.

"It was weird. Like there's no and ifs and buts about it. It was weird," said head coach Gus Somerfeld. "But I think for a kid to be out there to even having the opportunity to play the game is a plus and having fans out there. It's just the cherry on top. I think after the first couple plays, kids kind of tuned it out."

"It was kind of weird, but you know, I guess I wasn't really as nervous I could kind of really keep myself centered and you know, in inside my own head and playing the game I wanted to," said East Helena quarterback Braden Howell.

As of right now no High School sporting event and Lewis and Clark County is allowed to let in spectators, but a Facebook group called the Helena Sports Fans Alliance is trying to change that. The page is an offshoot of the Montana Sports Fan's Alliance. Amy Pfister, a mom of a Helena Capital athlete, created the page to give parents in the area a place to share their voice.

"I created the page, the Helena Sports Fan's Alliance page to unite those and the Lewis and Clark County area and to give them a way to let their voice be heard."

Kim Beatty is a mother to an athlete at Helena High and said, given the way the Lewis and Clark County residents responded to the pandemic, she hopes the group will be able to find a way to allow spectators and sporting events.

"We have heeded the call of the health department and I believe that we have indeed flattened that curve," said Beatty. "What we're asking for specifically is for the county to reevaluate and change its criteria on the number of spectators and the type of spectators that can be at sporting events."

Lewis and Clark City-County Board of Health is set to host a meeting on September 3 at 1 p.m. to discuss possible changes to the current order that could allow spectators to attend sporting events.