LOS ALAMITOS ⎯ Football in the winter. Basketball in the spring.
Boys and girls tennis playing at the same time.
Same with volleyball, golf and water polo.
Soccer moved from the winter months to the spring.
Welcome to the CIF-Southern Section athletics calendar for 2020-21, one announced by Commissioner Rob Wigod Monday morning, July 20. It’s an answer to the emergency measures being taken in reaction to COVID-19 threats.
“The whole process,” said Wigod, “has taken place the day after we canceled spring sports.”
If it seems confusing, it’s only because it is confusing.
Perhaps one of the most surprising outcomes in Monday’s release is that football, which will hold its first game on Jan. 9, will be a full 10-game schedule. There was original belief that all sports would operate at a 70 or 80 percent rate.
There’s a reason they scheduled a full season, said San Gorgonio Athletic Director Matt Maeda.
“I don’t think they really want to have football season without fans,” said Maeda. “I think they want to give athletes a full experience.”
Spectators has yet to be discussed. That will be up to local school districts.
“It’s all about safety,” said Aquinas boys’ basketball coach Dave Johnson, whose Falcons’ team reached last year’s CIF-4AA championship game and went two games into the Southern California Regional’s.
As of Monday, Johnson, 57, was fighting off a sinus headache that ultimately produced a COVID-19 test. He was awaiting the results.
“My doctor said, ‘You’re never in here.’”
All of which brings into the spotlight why three high school athletic seasons have been jammed into two seasons of activity.
One week ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down at-school attendance in favor of distance learning.
“It’s real,” said Maeda, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic threat. There are, he said, still some concerns on whether or not athletics will be played.
In a return-to-protocol consideration, Maeda said, “I’d like to get their temperatures taken before [a game]. This is something I’m interested in: It’s similar to the Alpha-Wrestling weight management form. Temperature checks.”
“If a kid has a 100.4 temperature, he can’t participate,” he said. “You want some sort of uniform agreement between the district. I want to check on this.”
It’s 50-50 on whether or not the season goes off, anyway. Maeda is racing to get everything scheduled ⎯ bus travel, facilities, officials, everything “and there might not even be a season.
“But if we’re not prepared, you’re not ready to go,” said Maeda.
So much to determine.
Boys water polo is normally a fall sport; girls play during the winter portion. San Gorgonio’s Chad Rahn coaches both the boys and girls.
Volleyball takes place in the fall (girls) and spring (boys). At Citrus Valley, Tina Raddish coaches both squads.
Tennis? Aquinas’ Scott Smith has coached both the Falcons’ boys and girl’s squads.
Also at Citrus Valley: Girls golf was getting set to start in September while boys’ golfers tackle the springtime schedule.
In many cases, some coaches handle both tennis, golf, polo and volleyball programs. Throw in the added dilemma of sharing a pool for practice and games in polo; gym time for a pair of volleyball teams operating at the same time.
As for tennis, there’s barely enough court space for full-roster squads ⎯ varsity and junior varsity ⎯ for one team. Now, with boys and girls playing together, courts must be split.
As winter soccer, both boys and girls, concludes its season, they’re often conflicting with track & field for use of the stadium.
“We already share the stadium, anyway,” said Maeda. “When track is ready to start (during the regular spring season), soccer is usually in the playoffs.”
Wrestling for both boys and girls traditionally operates during winter months. Details for sharing wrestling room facilities have largely already been worked out.
Sharing athletes, thus, becomes a problem ⎯ especially for schools like Aquinas and Citrus Valley.
Soccer players run cross country ⎯ two sports that now share the same season.
On football, Wigod said some schools might need to schedule games on Mondays or Fridays or Saturdays.
“All options are on the table,” he said.
It’s that way for plenty of sports.
Dozens of questions need to be sorted out to fit three athletics seasons into two.
Said Maeda: “Give us a month and I think most of us will have our schedules done for the rest of the year. At least by mid-August.”
Aquinas, meanwhile, is returning a CIF championship football program and a CIF boys’ basketball CIF runner-up.
Said Johnson: “I’m hoping we can have a little bit of fun.”