Polk County players walk through the stands prior to a game in the 2019 season

Football games will look a bit different this spring for Polk County High School and Polk County Middle School.

Per executive order of Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina High School Athletic Association rules, only 100 fans are currently allowed to attend any outdoor sporting event. That restriction applies to all sports, including the current boys soccer season as well as the upcoming football season.

In accordance with the NCHSAA guidelines, no general admission tickets will be sold this season for home football games. Both Polk County High School and Polk County Middle School plan to allocate their 100 tickets to players and cheerleaders to provide to their families.

All fans who do attend home events will be required to wear masks and remain socially distanced from other fans while in the stands. There will be no concessions sold at home football games. Fans will be allowed to bring small food items to games.

No fans will be allowed to attend away games this season.

A ray of hope for changes to the 100-fan limit surfaced Tuesday. Cooper’s executive order expires February 28, and NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker notified member schools that the Association has been asked by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to join a discussion on plans for what happens next after the expiration of the order.

HighSchoolOT.com first reported news of Tucker’s email to schools.

Local football fans will still be able to view each regular-season game this season. All Polk County High School home games will be streamed live on NFHS Network. Fans buying either an annual pass or a monthly pass to the NFHS Network will receive the following:

  • All PCHS varsity and junior varsity home games in the following sports: football, boys soccer, girls soccer, volleyball, boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling. These include regular season and playoff events. Polk County High School is exploring options for providing a streaming option for tennis, baseball and softball.
  • For this football season, Polk County’s varsity away game at Hendersonville and junior varsity away games at Avery and Mountain Heritage will be shown via the NFHS Network.
  • All Polk County Middle School away games will also be available via the NFHS Network.
  • Access to more than 50,000 live and on-demand games across the country shown by the NFHS Network. This includes any postseason events that are broadcast in North Carolina, including state championships, as the NFHS Network owns all rights to those
  • Access to a mobile app to watch events on a smartphone or tablet. Users can also watch events in a Web browser or on streaming devices such as Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV

An annual pass costs $69.99, with a portion of each pass going to PCHS athletics. Monthly passes cost $10.99. Passes can be ordered here: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/. Fans should specify Polk County High School as the school they support when ordering even if passes are being ordered to watch PCMS road games.

In addition to supporting district athletics, an annual pass bought this month will be good through next February, providing fans with great value in that they’ll be able to watch all events in this academic year as well as all fall and winter events in the 2021-22 academic year.

Polk County Middle School plans to stream both of its regular-season home games on YouTube.

Polk County High’s road games at Madison and Mitchell are expected to be streamed live as well. Madison has been using YouTube for all events thus far this season while Mitchell