This was a tough column to write. 

First, though. Check this out, folks. 

A new local sports publication is out. 

John Murphy, the veteran sports writer who has worked up and down California with a variety of newspapers ⎯ check out Highland Community News back on Sept. 3 ⎯ is back with IESports Net: The Magazine. 

He’ll have some pieces this month on Corona Centennial football coach Matt Logan and Etiwanda girls’ basketball coach Stan Demus in the coming days. Who knows which stories he’ll be covering around this area? 

I can think of quite a few. 

Meanwhile, the @PrepDog ⎯ formerly @PrepCat ⎯ gave a shoutout to the guy from this corner, which is appreciated. Murphy appeared on Fox 1350 last weekend. Had the goods on Logan and Demus. 

He threw in, gratefully, another name. 

“Obrey Brown, who writes for the Highland Community News,” he said, “is still fighting the good fight.” 

The good fight, that is, trying to bring local sports news to a dying brand of newspapers no longer serving this area on a regular basis. 

I swear, Murph’s shoutout is better than seeing my photo in A View From Above, or my own byline. 

* * * 

There are clues that may seem like it’s linked to the immediate future of prep sports. As in whether or not they’ll be having them once the clock strikes Jan. 1, 2021. 

One clue is this: Redlands High’s track & field program noted that it’s received permission from its school district to hold workouts beginning this month. Discussions, though, have led to a decision to wait until February to begin 2021. 

Is that a sign? Or just a message to multiple sports athletes to take a break, especially if they’re running cross country or playing football. 

On the other hand, if the tea leaves can be read correctly, why bother training if there’s to be no season? 

Those springtime track & field athletes are also advised to get their physicals. 

We’re hoping, at least from this sports desk, we’ll be seeing sports. 

* * * 

By the way: One question that hasn’t been answered just yet. 

Will local media be allowed to cover events? 

If that seems like a no-brainer, consider that it’s a question that has yet to be answered. CIF-Southern Section offices, however, have accepted media request forms. 

* * * 

Another question yet to be answered: 

Will spectators be allowed to attend prep games? 

Namely parents. 

Athletic directors are mostly the targets of these queries. I’ve got to say, though, that they’re unaware of those answers, either. They’ve got their hands full with plenty of other tasks. Repeat: Plenty of other tasks. 

Masks. Social distancing. That should cover some of it. 

Need I be the one to ask this question: Who’s going to keep the parents out? 

* * * 

There’s more and more traction being gained by the medical community that certified athletic trainers are in short supply around California. 

The results in not having such trained personnel could be catastrophic. 

On one hand, there is a required coach’s training for everyone: 

* CPR. 

* Concussion recognition. 

* Basic coaches instruction. 

I’ll hear plenty of noise on this one, folks. 

NATA.org ⎯ National Athletic Trainers Association ⎯ keeps track of lawsuits surrounding athletic injuries. Most of those are kept on the down-low. 

I’ve heard that 17 percent of high schools in California have certified athletic trainers. That means some 83 percent don’t have CATs. There’s another number out that ranges at 20 percent of schools have them. 

Either number is bad. 

I was warned harshly. 

“Sports writers need to articulate/write about why California is the only state in the country that doesn’t license ATCs. It’s about our children.” 

See what I’m dealing with, readers? 

Footnote: It’s not up to your local high school athletic director to determine whether or not there’s enough funding to hire athletic trainers. Got to go up the line on that one. 

* * * 

Someone’s got a good agent. 

Ex-San Gorgonio High great Nate Meadors, cut by the Vikings, signed to their practice squad, made their roster twice, cut again to their practice squad and, finally, cut again, was signed on Oct. 19. 

This time by the Jacksonville Jaguars; their practice squad. 

There’ve been tons of activity on the Jags’ transaction wire, which leads us to believe Meadors has a shot in their secondary. 

He’s a cornerback and the team has Tre Herndon and C.J. Henderson starting, backed by Chris Claybrooks, D.J. Hayden, Josiah Scott and Luq Barcoo. 

The Jags are 1-6, having surrendered over 30 points a game. They’ve got 23 QB sacks, though, and picked off six passes. 

Hard to say where Meadors could fit into the Jags’ secondary right now.

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