Smoky Air Impacts Area Athletic Programs - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Smoky Air Impacts Area Athletic Programs

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The smoky air has forced many middle school and high school athletic teams to move or cancel their games, this week. Some of Friday night's football games are also being impacted, and more could postpone their games if air quality gets worse.

"Obviously, we have to take the kids' health into consideration, and everyone else in the stands," Jim Pace, Reno High School Athletic Director said. "We all know it's been pretty bad. So, it's about safety."

Smoke from the King Fire has been pouring into the Truckee Meadows for nearly a week. While Friday's air quality has been mostly moderate, things can change very quickly. School staff, coaches, or even officials can make the call to cancel a game if needed.

"Will take the information they have available and they'll have a site decision at that time," Brian Rothe, WCSD Coordinator of Athletics and Activities said. "Could be right before the game, could be hours before the game, could be during the game."

Northwest Reno has had its fair share of unhealthy air all week, keeping the McQueen football team off the field.

"There's a lot of schools in the same situation we're in but it seems like we've gotten the majority of the smoke up here," Jim Snelling, McQueen football head coach said. "So, we've been indoors most of the week."

The smoke has also impacted some indoor sports.

"Some schools actually had smoke in the building that was a detriment to them, even after it was fairly clear outside," Rothe said. "So, some decisions had to be made to cancel some games."

While changing practice and game arrangements can be tricky, coaches and players say it's just something they have to deal with.

"It's a bad thing if we cancel but all-in-all, it's the best thing for everybody," Pace said.

"One of the things we try to preach is the ability to adapt and make the best of tough situations," Snelling said.

The Sparks football game has already been postponed until Saturday, partly because their opponents are coming all the way from Spring Creek.   That's a long way to travel for a game that could get canceled. Surrounding counties have also offered to lend their facilities to Washoe County teams that have had to make last-minute changes.
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