Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell-Statesville Schools officials announced Friday that district schools can increase the number of spectators at outdoor sports events.

Beginning Friday, March 26, all five district high schools will be allowed to admit 750 fans into football games. Previously, crowds were capped at 500 spectators due to COVID-19 concerns.

Six hundred seats will be be reserved for home fans and 150 for supporters of the visiting team.

District officials outline plan for wrestling season

I-SS Superintendent Jeff James announced on Wednesday that middle and high school wrestling will take place during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Official practice will begin on March 29 for middle school and April 12 for high school.

“We have worked collaboratively with the Iredell County Health Department and the ABC Science Collaborative to bring students back to school safely,” stated James. “Athletics are definitely an area of concern. Especially with sports that engage in close contact, we’ve been slow and reflective in making decisions regarding play.

“After a lengthy discussion earlier in the week with Commissioner Que Tucker at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) as well as administration in surrounding school districts, we’ve decided to proceed with wrestling for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Athletes will be thoroughly screened, will wear proper face coverings during practice, limit exposure to multiple athletes during practice, and will take precautions as it relates to cleaning and sanitizing.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Athletics Richard Armstrong stressed the importance of following health protocols.

“If we have secondary spread amongst any of our athletic teams, we have to cancel games. That’s the last thing we want to do. The key to the success of all athletic programs lies in our athletes’ ability to remain compliant in regard to COVID protocol.”