Let the games begin.
After a lengthy wait during the pandemic, Mercer Island High School fall sports teams will finally begin their seasons in March. Footballers began practices on Feb. 24 and boys golf, boys tennis, boys and girls cross country, girls soccer, girls swim and dive and girls volleyball were set to begin training on March 1.
According to athletic director Kyle McKenna, the Islanders will compete in two cohorts: football will play Liberty, Newport and Hazen, and the other sports will play the Bellevue School District squads from Bellevue, Newport, Interlake and Sammamish.
Football will have a four-game season (the remaining team is still to be determined), volleyball, soccer and tennis will play eight contests, golf will have six matches, cross country will have four meets and swim and dive’s schedule is still to be determined.
There will be no postseason games since the season will finish on April 3 and the schools will roll right into the next one (April 5-May 8), which will feature the traditional winter sports, and then season three (May 3-June 12) with the traditional spring sports.
The Islanders’ competitive club sports of boys and girls lacrosse will begin their seasons on April 19, while boys and girls water polo’s seasons are still to be determined.
At press time, volleyball was set to open at Interlake at 7:30 p.m. March 8; soccer was set to kick off at Interlake at 8 p.m. March 9; and football was set to begin at Newport at 7 p.m. March 12. Schedules, which are subject to change, are viewable at www.mihsislanders.com.
As noted in a previous Reporter article, in order to participate in practices and games, athletes and coaches must complete a daily wellness screening on Skyward, which is the district communication and information source, complete a COVID training module and more.
McKenna said that players and coaches must wear masks at all times during practices and games, except for swimmers and divers. He added that they are still in the process of determining the spectator situation for games.