Walkout Editorial

On February first, upwards of 70 students participated in a walk out advocating for the involvement of fans in sporting events. Centennial School District released the statement that fans would no longer be allowed at sporting events. In response, student Jalen Ross, a varsity basketball player for Centennial High School, along with other students and athletes alike, came together to organize a walkout from CHS to the district office.

While the reason for fans not being allowed was due to COVID concerns, many athletes felt as if having fans was not a COVID concern or a factor that could affect COVID cases. Volleyball player and freshman, Brooklyn Boyd states during an interview, “why is it any different from us going to Taco Bell and taking our masks off in the cafeteria and walking around with our masks under our nose in the hallways than our parents coming and watching a basketball game?”

Athletes on the basketball team tell us that they played three home games with no fans. Hayden Boyd says, “It was basically like a practice, kinda like a scrimmage. It didn’t really feel like a game.”

Varsity athlete Jalen Ross says, “It was boring. There wasn’t any momentum in our games. We didn’t show as much energy as we did when we had fans.”

In addition to responses to COVID cases, other Centennial athletes felt as if the ban on fans was unfair, because other schools don’t have the same regulations.

Varsity athlete Hayden Boyd says “We’re getting pushed to the side, it’s not fair.” In response to claims about Centennial’s COVID restrictions, Principal Scott-Aguirre says, “That’s not correct, I went to a game Wednesday night and they (Reynolds High School) had the same restrictions that we currently have. We’re not the only ones with these restrictions.”

According to Mrs. Scott-Aguirre, “Guidance from the state is that we should end all extracurricular activities which would mean ceasing all athletics, but this way kids could still play and we would be making it as safe as possible.” Both staff and athletes alike agree on the conclusion that having fans is positive, but it is a matter of keeping students safe in the midst of a pandemic.

We live in a time where we don’t only have to worry about contracting or spreading COVID, but also being able to experience and relish important life experiences like high school athletic careers. To keep students, athletes and members of the community alike safe, trade-offs must be made. While Centennial sports are ongoing, it is crucial that we ask but at what cost? As for CHS’s regulations and the impact of the student walkout, only time will tell. For now we can only tell Centennial athletes to stay strong, stay safe, and keep your heads up.

Update as of February 8th, 2022:
Due to demand by the student body at CHS, the spectator limit has been limited just before the end of the winter sports season. The Centennial School District will now allow a total of 300 spectators at games, with 200 being fans from home, and 100 being from away schools.