Noah Braden vs Helena High

Vigilante Stadium was packed for the crosstown football game last fall, but this year, at least to start, spectators won't be allowed at high school sporting events in Helena. 

HELENA  Helena Public Schools activities director Tim McMahon confirmed on Thursday that spectators would not be allowed at high school sporting events, at least to start, this fall in Helena. 

"Right now, there won't be any spectators at any (Helena High/Capital) high school activities," McMahon said. "We have a county directive that limits my ability to bring fans in. Currently, my No. 1 priority is that kids can play. If at some point, we can bring spectators in on a limited basis, absolutely, I will pursue that."

The limit on spectators goes for all high school sports set to take place this fall which are golf, cross country, football, volleyball and soccer.

Earlier this week, Yellowstone County announced its plan to not allow spectators while Flathead County and others plan to limit spectators to two ticketed fans per uniformed athlete.

The first sporting event to take place in Helena is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29 when Helena High and Capital will meet for crosstown soccer.

There will be four matches between junior varsity and varsity and all will be played at Nelson Stadium on the campus of Carroll College. The JV matches will be at 9 and 11 a.m., followed by the varsity matches at 1 and 3 p.m. 

The boys teams will play first, followed by the girls. 

"You have a county health order that makes it difficult to do both, play the game and have fans," McMahon said. "So I am going to focus on making sure the games get played."

Both high school football teams will be holding intra-squad scrimmages one week before the season starts, just like in year's past. The volleyball teams will also schedule their own preseason scrimmages. 

The first varsity football game scheduled in Helena is Sept. 11, when Helena High will host Butte High in the Class AA opener for both teams.  

Chris is the sports editor and lead preps reporter for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cmpetey406

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