In a wild year where sports schedules more likely are to end up in the shredder than tacked on the team bulletin board, the Moscow football team is used to tackling challenges.
After their season was a go, delayed because of coronavirus concerns and then a go again, the Bears face another change this season: They’ll play their home games at the Kibbie Dome instead of Bear Field.
Moscow athletic director Lance Abendroth said air qualityissues because of wildfires in the area and possible issues with the press box at the field impacted the decision.
“A couple reasons: One, it’s not news to this area that we sometimes have smoke issues … and also we’ve had issues with our press box at the high school,” he said. “So that kind of came up as a question as to whether that would be allowed to be used or not.
“I just contacted the U of I and asked if it was even a possibility and we kind of took it from there.”
Moscow is set to play four games this season with its two home games at the Kibbie Dome.
The Bears open Sept. 25 at Bonners Ferry, play host to Lewiston on Oct. 2, face Lakeland on the road Oct. 9 and play host to Sandpoint on Oct. 16 in the season finale.
“Four, I think, is a good number,” Abendroth said. “Four is better than the zero we were at, so we’ll definitely take it.”
Moscow has a bye week Oct. 30 where it potentially could add a fifth game. But the schedule already is packed with important contests.
Lewiston is a regionalrival, and the conference games against Lakeland and Sandpoint stand in Moscow’s way of a third straight Class 4A Inland Empire League title.
But as teams have learned this year, nothing is guaranteed. Abendroth said he’s thankful for his fellow administrators who have helped make tough decisions this summer.
“It’s made me very thankful, very appreciative,” Abendroth said. “I work with a great school board, I work with great administrators and these athletic directors and principals in our league are phenomenal.”
Moscow requires COVID-19 waiver for athletics
The Moscow School District — which delayed sports in August before reinstating them Sept. 1 — is following several other schools in Idaho in requiring coronavirus waivers for athletes.
The form includes basic information about the virus and acknowledgement of its risks.
“The biggest part of those is it just makes people aware of what risks are related to this,” Abendroth said. “Education is key when something is new, something is unknown. The more educated you can get on it, the (better the) decision you can make.”
Abendroth said everybody is out for the same reason: “They want to do the right thing for the kids, they want to compete, but they want to do it safely.”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at email@example.com, by phone at (208) 883-4624 and on Twitter @StephanSports.