California further limits spectators at games; prohibits cheer squads


Ray Hamill/ – Fans at last weekend’s scrimmage in McKinleyville.

By Ray Hamill — H-DNL fans were handed some bad news ahead of this weekend’s season-opening football games, when it was announced that the state will allow only one spectator per player to attend.

The H-DNL had been planning on allowing four immediate family members per player at each game.

It was also announced this week that sideline cheer squads and school bands are now prohibited from attending.

“It’s super disheartening,” Fortuna head coach Mike Benbow said of the news. “I’m very, very fired up about it, but there’s not a lot we can do. We have to follow what the state says.”

Many of the local cheerleading squads have been practicing for three weeks under the assumption they would be allowed on the sidelines.

There is an online petition started to reverse the decision, which can be accessed here.

“How can you tell a football player he can play football but a cheerleader can’t stand on the same sideline,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “I just don’t feel that’s right. In my opinion that’s not fair.”

There are three local varsity football games scheduled for this weekend, including Ferndale at St. Bernard’s on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., and Fortuna at McKinleyville on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

With the news coming the day before the season opener, St. Bernard’s and Ferndale have agreed to still allow four spectators from a player’s immediate household to attend on Friday.

“We don’t feel it’s right to do that to a parent the day before the game,” Tomlin said.

Both of Friday’s games will be broadcast live on Mix 95.1 FM for fans unable to attend.

The game at St. Bernard’s will also be streamed live on YouTube, while Benbow says the Huskies are working hard on trying to stream their game.

The St. Bernard’s and Ferndale game can be accessed on YouTube by searching “Luke Omey.”

4 replies »

  1. “the state” …..put out names, the health department locally? Seriously who can be on board with these restrictions? I hope all these young kids empower themselves as a group over the coming years. Identify these officials and vote them all out. Seriously anyone that thinks being outside at a football stadium would have to have 1 person per player limit needs to be institutionalized. NFL ,NCAA ect….they were not under these ridiculous restrictions. That’s right money rules.

    Welcome to the communist state of Ca. I’m sure the next step is to mandate illegal immigrants being assigned in your homes if you have more bedrooms then you have family occupants. Don’t worry it would only apply to the middle class working home owners.
    Total joke.

    • I completely support the decision to ignore the 1 person allowed mandate. There is no rational reason for limiting attendance like this.

  2. This is SO discouraging. Looks like the leadership at St. Bernards and Ferndale are willing to do what is right despite the threats by Humboldt County Public Health Director, Dr. Hoffman.

    Dr. Hoffman has no understanding of the importance of adults being active in children’s lives. He works diligently to create obstacles for schools trying to work together to provide sports for students to have hope during this pandemic.

    He does not know, or seem to see the importance of how CRUCIAL it is for any athlete or any child to look over and see their parents, mentors, teachers, or any adult showing up for you. These are the moments that change children’s lives.

    Recognize that going to school in person, being physically active, and having healthy adults in children’s lives is what we should be protecting and enforcing.

    I encourage Public Health to come with an attitude of “how can we make this work safely” instead or “how can we eliminate activities or school.” If your intent is safety then Dr. Hoffman’s job is to find a way to make sure the community he serves can be safe and active. We didn’t know how good we had it the Dr. Frankovich.

  3. This more of a vindictive move by CA Health Officials that lost a bit of there power in court — No science behind reasoning – just the need to estabolish that they are still in control.

    I hope if blows up in their face – pretty stupid before a recall but stupidity is the norm in California.

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