Fans Not Allowed in Hills Vs. Valley Basketball Game


Shannon Tighe guarded by Jess Lee (#20 Wayne Valley)

By Sarah Park

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases over the winter break, the Wayne Schools Athletic Department decided to permit fans from watching one of the most anticipated games of the season, for both the boys and girls basketball teams. On January 3, 2022, the day before the game, the Wayne Schools Community received a letter restricting all fans from the games (besides immediate family members) for all three levels (Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity).

In the letter, it was stated that “in consultation with the Wayne Department of Health and in an effort to minimize risk to spectators, our players, coaches, and staff, spectator admittance is limited to immediate family members of players actively competing at both Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley for tomorrow’s boys and girls basketball games.”

Junior center, Shannon Tighe, on the Wayne Hills Girls Basketball team said that when she received the letter, she was disappointed. “The Hills vs. Valley game is what our whole team looks forward to and has prepared for all season long. Having the fans cheering makes the atmosphere so much more exhilarating, so this was definitely a disappointment.” 

Photo from Wayne Hills TV channel

While there were not any fans allowed into the gymnasium, immediate family was allowed. “Surprisingly, the fans that were allowed to come were just as loud as the students would be, so props to all the fans who were cheering,” Tighe states. 

Photo taken by Lauren Faltas

Although spectators were not allowed in the gymnasiums, the games were streamed on both schools’ streaming channels on YouTube. Both TV productions did a phenomenal job with producing the game live for the Wayne community that was not able to attend the game.

Both Varsity Valley teams beat Hills (Boys score: 32-30, Girls score: 39-33). Fortunately, this was the only game, as of now, that permitted spectators in the gymnasium. Hopefully, the next Hills vs. Valley game (on February 3) will allow all students and staff to view the game and cheer on their school.