A message from your new Athletic Director - Ryan Harkrader

September 18, 2020

Dear Families of Bluejay Athletes:

With the recent announcement from the MHSAA allowing the 2020 fall athletics season we are all excited to have sports back. In order to move forward, we are required to follow the guidance of the MHSAA. In order to ensure that we are complying, we are sharing the following information that will assist both our families and our school staff in minimizing the risk to our athletes, staff, and guest.

In compliance with MHSAA guidance, all spectators will be required to wear a mask at all times for both indoor and outdoor athletic events. Those with a medical exemption will need to show that at the gate and will be required to wear a face shield, which they must provide. Guest who fail to comply once they enter the gate will be asked to leave. In addition, those who are not from the same household are expected to socially distance while at the games. Unfortunately some schools have already made the difficult decision to not allow spectators based on disregard for rules by the spectators. This is certainly one of the last things we want to do, so we need everyone’s cooperation to ensure that this does not occur. We will make reminder announcements throughout the events to assist in that effort.

The MHSAA also requires athletes who are not able to socially distance to wear a mask. Currently, those participating in volleyball, Soccer and football for Shepherd are required to wear a mask.

The MHSAA guidance allows each athlete to have up to two guest enter the gate. As a result, only those with a Jack Pine pass will be permitted entrance to events and those must be purchased in advance though the main office at the high school. Those passes are good for both home and away events. The passes are specific for each sport and each level. For example, a junior varsity football player is permitted to purchase two passes for junior varsity football contest and varsity athlete would be permitted two passes for the varsity contest.

For varsity football games, in order to ensure that we are following both the MHSAA guidance, and the Executive Order on social gathering, only those with a correct game pass will be allowed to enter the stadium. We are also asking spectators to not congregate around the outside of the fence at home events as this becomes very difficult to social distance and follow the guidelines. We are working on live streaming all home games and will supply a link once one is available.

Thanks for your understanding during these trying times and for your support of our student-athletes who have worked very hard to get to this point. Bluejay Strong!

Thank you for your continued support,

Ryan Harkrader

Dear Bluejay Parents,

This is interim Superintendent Greg McMillan,

As you may know, Governor Whitmer gave Michigan High Schools the green light to move forward with high school football. Our first game will be tomorrow evening. Along with permission to play, certain conditions were put into to place. These conditions are part of her executive order 176. If we, or other schools, should choose to ignore or violate these conditions and/or rules our student athletes’ season could be abruptly ended.

The intent of this message is to ask for your support in following the guidelines placed on us by the Governor’s executive order 176.

Those include:

  • All spectators, athletes, and coaches must wear masks and social distance.

  • Each district must limit the number of spectators. We as a Jack Pine Conference member, will only be allowing (2) spectators per player. This will be monitored and recorded.

If we have spectators choosing to ignore these conditions, they will be removed from the contests and may risk losing all privileges of attending any future Jack Pine athletic events.

Please understand, that we, must and will adhere to executive order 176 to protect our student athletes’ opportunity, their privilege to participate in high school athletics. Please help us protect this one-time opportunity.

Thank you for supporting Shepherd Public Schools.