SMHS football season opener relocated due to smoke

Medford, Ore. — The poor air quality is impacting local sports teams. High school soccer games were cancelled earlier this week, and Wednesday, the decision was made to move South Medford’s football home opener to Wilsonville.

It’s the first time in the Medford School District’s history that a football team won’t have a season opener at home, but officials say student safety is their top priority.

“I’ve never had a situation like this where we’ve had to move a game because of weather conditions,” SMHS head football coach Bill Singler says.

“It’s disappointing,” communications specialist Natalie Hurd says, “but student safety is our top priority and so really this is the only way to go.”

SMHS Athletic Director Tim Rupp says the conditions are the worse he’s seen in recent memory.

“I was around during the Biscuit Fire, I remember the Biscuit Fire” Rupp says, “this to me seems a lot worse than that at this point.”

Wilsonville has offered to give the school a portion of the gate-receipts which many sports rely on.

Practices are also being shortened and modified to include indoor conditioning and frequent breaks.  More changes to schedules are possible pending weather conditions. NBC5 News will keep you updated as we learn more.

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