Parents Upset After El Reno Schools Cancels Weekend Archery Tournament

Thursday, December 3rd 2020, 10:33 pm

EL RENO, Okla. -

Parents of students who make up a school archery team said a tournament was unfairly canceled by the district due to COVID-19. 

El Reno Public School officials made the decision this week to cancel the archery tournament which serves as a fundraiser for the program. 

The tournament was originally scheduled to be held at the Jenks-Simmons Fieldhouse. 

James Kliewer has never been prouder of his son watching him excel in archery at El Reno Public Schools. He said he was among other parents disappointed to learn the fundraising tournament was canceled by district officials. 

“We have other sports that are still going on, contact sports like basketball, that are still able to have their events whereas this smaller sport is pushed to the side,” said Kliewer. “It is a non-contact sport.” 

Twenty-four schools statewide were scheduled take part this weekend, according to coaches, at the Jenks-Simmons Fieldhouse. 

The difference, district officals said, the weekend tournament would bring hundreds. Thursday night's basketball game only brings in a minimum crowd at the Jenks-Simmons Fieldhouse. 

“Let’s just say it was us and Calumet in a match game of archery, no problem,” said El Reno Public School Superintendent, Craig McVay. “Us and 500 participants from across the state, it just can't be done. We don't have the manpower; the health department doesn't have the manpower (for contract tracing).” 

While the cancellation is final, Kliewer believes steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 can easily be taken. 

“They are already 6 feet apart in their lines, they just have to wear their mask,” said Kliewer. “They all have their own bows and arrows assigned to them for their turns. There is no cross contamination between people.” 

McVay said the archery team can hold their tournament in Chandler this weekend, over an hour away. 

Chandler Public Schools Superintendent Melody Toma said they're looking at having one team come in, sanitize and then bring in another team. 

As long as their own scoring can be done, Toma said, she sees no problem. 

She said it's all about bringing students some sense of normalcy.