Prep notes: Postseason volleyball, football tickets getting more scarce
By MARK NELKE
Fans hoping to watch their family members and/or favorite teams at this weekend's state volleyball tournaments likely already have to have acted fast.
With Gov. Brad Little on Monday pushing Idaho back into Stage 3 of its Idaho Rebounds plan due to COVID-19, the amount of fans allowed at each state volleyball tournament match has been drastically reduced.
Other than "essential" personnel (officials, other workers, etc.), each team is now allowed just 25 fans for its matches. And they have to be the same 25 for each match. Previously, each school was to be allowed several hundred fans for each match, which figured to cover everybody who wanted to attend.
Local schools affected are Coeur d'Alene (5A, Skyline High in Idaho Falls), Lakeland (4A, Kimberly High), Timberlake and Kellogg (3A, Twin Falls High), St. Maries (2A, Buhl High), Wallace (1A Division I, Jerome High) and Clark Fork (1A Division II, Burley High).
Fans are asked to contact their local schools to see if tickets are still available. Coeur d'Alene, for one, already announced Tuesday afternoon it had filled its allotment of 25 fans.
The state volleyball tournaments will also be streamed live on the NFHS Network.
Post Falls High will have 800 tickets total — 650 for Post Falls, 150 for the visiting team — for Post Falls' home game vs. Mountain View of Meridian in the first round of the state 5A playoffs Friday at 7 p.m. at Trojans Stadium.
All tickets will be available in advance; no tickets will be sold at the game. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students. The game will also be streamed live on the NFHS Network.
Post Falls will have three tickets available for all varsity football players, varsity cheerleaders, dance team and band members for their family. These ($6) tickets will be sold today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school.
Any remaining tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to the general public on Thursday from 7:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fans can purchase two tickets each on Thursday. IHSAA passes will not be accepted at the gate. IHSAA passholders are asked to come to the school on Thursday to pick up their tickets.
The Kibbie Dome is no longer an option for state playoff or state championship games in football this season, the Idaho High School Activities Association was told earlier this week.
The Dome hosted a few high school games this fall, some due to poor air quality outside, but decided not to host any playoff games due to the Governor's move to drop Idaho to Stage 3.
Earlier this fall, Holt Arena in Pocatello and Albertsons Stadium in Boise had already opted out of hosting high school football games this fall, citing COVID concerns.
The IHSAA still plans to stay with its rotation of regional areas for championship games in football. The only caveat — teams can't play a championship game on their home field.
For example, if, say, Coeur d'Alene was in the state 5A title game against, say, Rigby or another eastern Idaho team, that game would be played somewhere in eastern Idaho. If, say, Coeur d'Alene played a Boise-area school in the title game, that game would be held somewhere in North Idaho.
Lakeside was one of the five conference champions to earn an automatic berth into the 12-team state 1A Division I football playoffs.
But the Knights were the only team of the five that did not earn a first-round bye. In fact, it was the No. 12 seed in the playoffs.
"The agreement was made at last year’s state football scheduling meeting to give all five district winners (districts 5 and 6 are combined) an automatic slot into the postseason, but only the top four ranked district winners would get an auto berth into the quarters," Lakeside athletic director Jerel Hight said.
"This was done, in part, because District 1 was only two teams (Lakeside and Wallace are the only football-playing teams in the new three-team Scenic Idaho Conference)," he added. "Some other districts didn’t want to allow us to get an auto berth, so I had a bit of negotiating to do."
He said some argued if the fifth district champion was not ranked in the top 12 by MaxPreps, it would not be allowed in the playoffs.
In the end, it was agreed the fifth district champ would be slotted in anywhere between No. 5 and No. 12, depending on where it sat in the MaxPreps rankings.
"Lakeside actually could have earned a bye into the first round, or been ranked anywhere from No. 5 to No. 11, but because of COVID, we suffered from a poor ranked schedule," Hight said. "Losing Troy, Potlatch, and Lapwai tanked our rankings and we actually ranked outside of the top 12. But because we won our district, we go in at No. 12."
Lakeside (4-2), in the playoffs for the first time since 2001, will play No. 5 seed Oakley (7-1) on Saturday at 11 a.m. PDT at Parma High.
Hight said with first-round games, if the teams are separated by more than one district, they must try to find a neutral site between the two schools.
Parma, west of Boise near the Oregon border, is some 215 miles from Oakley, just southeast of Twin Falls. Plummer is roughly 340 miles from Parma.
Hight said the Knights were hoping to line up a site a little closer to Plummer, but couldn't work it out.