Q&A With Coach Hargis


Mr. Hargis shares thoughts on the hectic season and success of ELHS programs


Viking Saga: Why has this season been crazy so far?

Steve Hargis: “There are so many moving parts. As far as with the safety of the athlete and making sure that they are being taken care of at our level and making sure they understand with all of the policies which teams you are playing every other day. It took us weeks to get clarification from the CIAC. Things have come together a little bit. We have been able to reduce the number of days that an athlete may be potentially out. It’s now from 17+ to 12; that’s a big jump. We’re not doing any more contact tracing. We can’t, there’s not enough people in our building to
do that. But we believe that all things we have in place are really good. It’s always seemed like things have been extremely hectic but the parents, and kudos to those folks, are really being a positive force. Sometimes we don’t
agree necessarily with how things are done in athletics vs. the other parts of the building which aren’t under our control. But in this case, I think the school has worked together to make this happen.”

Athletic director Steven Hargis coaches the boys’ track team.

VS: Have there been any talk about postponing games due to COVID-19 numbers?

SH: We can surely postpone. We have used that to move some games around, but not to accommodate for our performance. We know what you can’t do is not play that game. You can’t cancel it and create a schedule that
is favorable to you. That was happening by some people in the state. That was the way it was last time we had this sort of wave come in. So, I don’t think we will, but certainly some teams that we’re putting on the field or putting on the court aren’t our regular lineups. They might be drawing from JV teams, but everyone is doing that. Where we draw the line, if you’re a basketball team with seven people or five people, that’s a problem. That’s not safe. It’s not arbitrary, we try to move the games to the next available date that does not create a four game or a back to back situation. Right now, that’s getting more difficult by the day. So we’re stockpiling these games. Some
teams have really been hit hard. So they’ll try to come back in two weeks and try to put in the complete schedule, and that’s hard on everybody both physically and mentally for any of those teams. Hopefully, we will not end
up in that position.”

VS: What went into the decision to increase attendance that can now go to the indoor sport events, effective Tuesday?

SH: “First, we’re only allowed to have 50 percent gym capacity, and that rule has not changed. 80 ELHS students can attend with a student ID, and 50 can come and be from the community or wherever. 200 family tickets are set aside for our team, and the ECC will vote for potentially two tickets per opposing player. We’re allowed 300 people, so there’s a little bit of crossover there. We’ve never had a filled ticket for every parent, so we’re shifting
some of the tickets around. If everyone shows up, it’ll actually be a little over, but it is what it is. The sad part about it is, last night [Thursday, Jan. 27] when we had the girls’ basketball game, three students showed up. It’s hard for us to go out of our way to reorganize things, and the numbers out for positivity are dropping to an ideal situation,
and we only get three spectators. Hopefully Tuesday, we’ll have to turn kids away so it’s 80 students with ID.”