Thursday evening was another marker of life returning to normal at Overlake as we slowly come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Owls basketball players took to the gym floor for their first home games, masked Owl fans were allowed in the bleachers. Visiting fans are not allowed inside. With a simple show of their vaccination card and signing into an attendance log, Owls fans were treated to three wonderful games in which are varsity boys' and girls' teams posted dominant victories.
Among those in the stands was longtime Overlake Athletics supporter and alum Greg Foster ('81) whose daughter Jamison is a Senior on the varsity team. "When the school year began, I didn't imagine we'd have the opportunity to watch Jamison's Senior season," says Foster. "She's the last child going through Overlake, and I'll miss opportunities like this a lot. It's great to be back in the gym, and it was the right decision. Go Owls!"
Overlake's Health and Safety Committee worked closely with Overlake's Athletic administrators in creating this plan for basketball. While there are many rules before entering our gyms, the protocol for Overlake's basketball games is pretty simple.
*To get into the building you must be fully vaccinated (two weeks post final dose) and masked
*Each person will be required to show proof of vaccination (a completed physical card or image on a phone of the completed card) and cannot enter without it. Make sure you have this documentation for each person before heading to campus as no exceptions will be made.
*Home team spectators will be required to sign in (printing their name on roster sheet) and indicate which game(s) they are planning to watch
*Seating for the main gym will be in the middle section of the bleachers - end sections will be reserved for home and visiting teams' players. Seating in the field house will be done with folding chairs on the opposite side of the court from the teams
*No food or pets are allowed in either venue
Even though you wouldn't be able to see the smiles on the faces of masked players their joyful expressions we're evident even if the season home openers were six months late. "I can't even describe how excited I am to see everyone out here tonight," says Jamison who has been a part of the girls' basketball program since Middle School. "We're so thankful to be here and treat every game like it's our last. I always had faith that we'd play, but at times I was concerned about not having my final season. The last couple weeks have been real busy for me, but we're all so thankful to be here...and it's nice after the game to go outside and the sun is still out!"
Another familiar face in the gym was Head of School Matt Horvat, who was impressed with how the entrance screenings and adherence to them was maintained. "This reminds me of why I work in schools seeing the Seniors along with their family and friends supporting them," said Horvat. "We've got a lot of year-end events, like our graduation, which will be outdoors so we learn from seeing what works. Everything I see this evening went smoothly."
Because the basketball seasons are shortened this year, you'll want to plan ahead. Finding sports information is easy. Just visit Overlakeowls.com.