Local high schools looking at different ways to give fans access to sports teams amid COVID-19

Local high schools looking at different ways to give fans access to sports teams amid COVID-19

MEDWAY, Mass. — The field for the Medway Mustangs is ready, but it was up in the air if it would even be used this fall.

“We really weren’t sure up until just about a month ago how we were going to be able to move forward,” said Jeff Parcells.

Many fall sports like soccer, cross country and field hockey will go on in the Tri-Valley League.

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“We are really thankful that the state has found ways to make athletics possible for our students, it’s not going to look the same as it always does,” said principal John Murray of Medway High School.

The next challenge was fans and spectators. The bleachers remain empty right now in Medway, and unfortunately it will have to stay that way this fall.

“We had to come up with a decision that was good for all our communities,” Parcells said.

The Tri-Valley League will not allow spectators at sporting events this year. However, Medway and other high schools are finding solutions, so families and friends can watch games as they happen.

“This was a no-brainer for us,” said Murray

Pixellot is a company that provides a $5,000 camera for free. Schools are responsible for the installation fee, which can be up to $1,250.

“We are thankful for our boosters to be able to support the cost to install the cameras,” Murray said.

Parents pay a fee to subscribe and watch.

“The camera system is automated, it comes on at the start of each game, it follows the play,” Parcells said.

More and more schools in Massachusetts are using it.

“We are at about 27 schools and that’s throughout the commonwealth; all the way from Longmeadow down to Duxbury and the south shore,” said Tara Bennett of the MIAA.

One of several ways schools are adapting to keep one thing constant in the chaos of COVID-19: school spirit.

“We say 'Roll ‘Stangs’ for everything we do around here, and just because of the pandemic it doesn’t mean we have to totally eliminate ways to stay connected,” Murray said.

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