The last hope of having any form of high school sports this fall appeared to have flickered out last week, when the three Greater St. Helens Leagues announced they were pushing their remaining fall sports to March and April.
But there is still a glimmer of hope deep in the Columbia River Gorge.
Howard Kreps, the longtime athletic director at Columbia High School in White Salmon, is holding out hopes that his school can host two or three high school cross country meets this fall.
“Our (COVID-19) numbers in the gorge have been improving,” Kreps said. “And if they can keep improving and there’s a chance we can run a meet safely, then I want to keep that window open. I just want to give our kids something this fall. I’ve got 20-25 of them who have been out running this summer. I want to give them hope, even if it’s a long shot.”
Kreps said he understands the decisions made be other Trico League schools like Castle Rock and La Center, which opted to moving cross country to Season 3 of the WIAA amended 2020-21 calendar, particularly after those schools announced they would open the school year with remote learning.
White Salmon schools are also starting 2020-21 with remote learning, but hope to move to a hybrid of in-person and remote learning soon thereafter, if conditions allow.