OTTUMWA — With COVID-19 numbers continuing to surge across the country, the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference has made the difficult decision to not allow fans at indoor ICCAC athletic events to start the season.
While the challenges continue to exist due to the pandemic, the ICCAC is committed to forging ahead with giving its student-athletes opportunities to compete during the winter and spring of 2021. The ICCAC and its member institutions will continue to evaluate what is best; however, winter sports, including basketball, wrestling and volleyball, will begin with no ticket sales or fans permitted at facilities league wide. Only student-athletes, coaches and necessary staff to run the event will be permitted.
Outdoor sports, and the potential of allowing fans, will be at the discretion of the host school. Masks will be required.
“Ultimately, keeping our student-athletes safe and healthy is our primary concern,” said Brett Monaghan, Indian Hills athletic director and vice president of student development and operations. “With that being said, we know our home contests, both at the Hellyer Center for basketball and volleyball, as well as Howar Junior High in Centerville for wrestling, will be quite different for our student-athletes during home events.”
Plans to utilize the college’s new agreement with GoHillsTV to broadcast winter and spring sports is moving forward for IHCC home contests and should give fans of Indian Hills athletic teams an outlet to see the games virtually. Logistics of what will be permitted for broadcasting road contests is still being worked out.
“Our intention is for GoHillsTV to attend road games as well,” added Monaghan. “However, their ability to do so will be at the discretion of the host school. We encourage our fans to follow our social media platforms on Facebook (Indian Hills Athletics), Twitter (@IHCCAthletics), as well as our athletics website (www.indianhillsathletics.com) for the most up to date information on game times and availability.”
The news of no fans being permitted came as no surprise to Indian Hills Head Basketball Coach, Hank Plona, but the Warrior coach wanted to take the opportunity to address the program’s dedicated fans.
“Obviously we are disappointed that the best fans in the country won’t be at the Hellyer Center this year,” said Plona. “Warrior Nation makes Indian Hills Basketball who we are by giving us love, support and inspiration every night.
“We will continue to be focused and determined as ever to put another banner up at the Hellyer Center, and we hope that our dedicated fans continue to follow us on GoHillsTV and our social media platforms this year.”