There was a misunderstanding when acting San Bernardino United Schools’(SBCUSD) Interim Superintendent Harold Vollkommer; during a midweek school board session on Tuesday, June 30, displayed a chart with an obvious omission.
That omission was devilish.
One school board member fell for it.
It could’ve been painful.
Football was missing from that chart.
It might’ve seemed as if the onetime collegiate point guard was eliminating football from the school district’s educational mission.
There was no ⎯ repeat, no ⎯ plans to cancel football. Ramifications of such a decision could reach mammoth proportions.
That chart was just one portion ⎯ a small portion, in fact ⎯ of Vollkommer’s presentation. It could’ve been misconstrued that football wasn’t in San Bernardino United’s plans for this school year.
So when I got a tip ⎯ forget it, reporters aren’t required to disclose our sources (so I won’t disclose who fell for it) ⎯ that football was getting canceled for 2020-21, my mind started racing.
I thought, “Cajon ⎯ longtime Citrus Belt League kingpin with handfuls of top players ⎯ wouldn’t be playing.”
Head coach Nick Rogers, plus his entire staff, would be free agents.
“Then there’s San Gorgonio. Head coach Rich McClure & Co. is one year removed from a spot in the CIF State championship game. Imagine that in 2020: No football from the Spartans?”
I thought of Arroyo Valley and Pacific and San Bernardino and Indian Springs ⎯ nine wins among those four schools last season ⎯ with football off the books. Even non-championship contending schools have kids that wanna play.
(Aquinas, of course, wouldn’t be touched. As a private campus, they’re not part of SBCUSD. In fact, the Falcons would likely get a few of those players via transfer.)
Cancelling football’s the kind of decision that might get a headlined story in the L.A. Times on its front page.
CNN, Fox News, plus all the L.A. television stations might give that a few moments’ time during their newscasts.
I can just see Rogers and McClure, Vollkommer and Cajon A.D. Rich Imbriani, among others, with a microphone in front of them trying to explain their feelings to a breathless TV audience.
A quick query to San G Athletic Director Matt Maeda straightened out the entire mess.
“Was football being canceled?”
An emphatic, “No!” was quickly texted to my I-Phone.
End of a racing mind.
* * *
Ex-San Bernardino High running back Alexander Mattison could be a prime time player for the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.
If … there’s an NFL season.
If … starting RB Dalvin Cook follows through on his threat to hold out for a new contract.
Throw this in: San Gorgonio stud cornerback and QB from another era, Nate Meadors, will battle against 10 other corners for, perhaps 6-7 CB spots on the Vikings’ roster.
More on this in coming weeks … especially if the NFL follows through on its intentions to play the 2020 season.
Right now, that’s a bigger “if” than the Cook/Madison RB situation.
* * *
Driving northbound. Interstate 215. San Bernardino. San Manuel Stadium. Home, incidentally, of the Inland Empire 66ers. No games. Today. This week. This month. Or next.
No season. Hundreds of baseball fans. Disappointed.
It’s about to get worse.
As if it could. Right?
Awaiting that July 20 (high school) and July 24 (junior college) deadline in which those organizations are expected to announce plans to approach the 2020-21 school year, athletics-style, there’s got to be some hope.
I’m personally holding my breath.
No sports? Apart from other disasters relating to the world-wide pandemic, it’s part of the lives of an awfully big load of people.
Highland Community News reporter Jason Miller, sort of half-kidding, says, “You’ll be out of a job, Obrey.”
Truthfully, I have a war chest of story ideas. Part of that war chest includes a nice collection of contacts.
* * *
We’ve missed Little League.
There were no Western Regional’s in north San Bernardino.
Junior All-American Football is about to experience a missed season. San G Spartans, for whatever reason, shut down operations after last season. Most of those players might relocate over to the North San Bernardino Cowboys.
A soccer shutdown is imminent. Imagine: No soccer at Arden and Pacific.
Soccer academies for those advanced players have shut down. It’s possible they’ve even gone out of business.
* * *
Funny thing about girls’ prep basketball. Laylah Lyons, perhaps one of San Gorgonio’s best players last season, missed all games after December when she suffered a season-ending torn ACL.
Considering first-year coach Travis Clarke took over a 1-24 team from the previous season … considering the Lady Spartans ran off a 16-11 overall record … considering that team’s roster was down to eight players after Lyons’ injury … considering all of that, it really was a brilliant season for Clarke & Co.
Consider this: COVID-19 helped shut down a badly needed summer league.
* * *
Banning High basketball coach Cory Cornelius, whose boys won last winter’s CIF Division 5A boys’ title, threw out some non-hoops numbers.
A January start, he said, “makes sense.”
The most logical move, he said, “would be to move spring [sports] to October.”
Baseball, softball and track, he said, “are sports that do not require kids to be close to each other.”
Here are the real numbers: “We do not have one death from age 0 to 17 from COVID-19.
“Age 18-34 has a 99.999 percent recovery rate.”
Said Cornelius: “We need to protect coaches that have pre-existing conditions, over [age] 50, or take care of someone older … but continue to go to school and play.”