Written by Carter Cox (Sports Editor)
Many athletes in California are expressing doubt and are giving up on the idea of there being sports this year. Many states have decided to do fall sports, but California is hoping that they can do sports in the winter safely. It is hard getting prepared for a sports season that might not happen. But despite it, many athletes have chosen to get creative and do their workouts. One of the questions many athletes have in California is: will sports start back up again or will it be safe to do sports in the winter? Here’s a look at the states that are opening fall school sports and how it is going for them, what lots of the sports teams are doing at SLV to condition for the season, and what the future for sports could look like for SLVHS and California sports.
Seventeen out of fifty states decided not to do school sports in the fall. While thirty-three out of fifty states in America decided to do school sports in the fall. California is one of the states that has opted out of doing school sports in the fall. The California school fall season has been postponed and moved to the winter season. The two other sports seasons the winter and spring season have combined for a spring season. For now, all practices are supposed to start on December 14th. Fall/Winter sports include Football Boys’ & Girls’ Volleyball, Boys’ & Girls’ Water Polo, and Boys’ & Girls’ Cross Country.
At first, many didn’t like the plan since it was thought that in the spring season, you would have to choose one sport to do instead of two since two sports seasons merged into the spring season. However, that isn’t the case, as many schools and coaches across California were told to share the athletes so athletes will not have to choose between two sports. Many also questioned why we weren’t doing sports when many other states are doing sports. California has had a lot of coronavirus cases and so unfortunately they haven’t been able to do any sports. In Santa Cruz, teams aren’t currently allowed to meet up to practice and so coaches and the players have had to get creative about it.
Lots of states have opted to do school sports so there haven’t been many outbreaks in high school sports. In two high schools, there was a big outbreak among the football players from working out over the summer. This raises the concerns for many since sports seasons are starting at some high schools, that it might not be the wisest idea to do sports in the fall. In college, lots of school sports are having lots of coronavirus outbreaks and they are shutting down college sports in the fall because of this.
In the west, one of the states that are playing fall sports is the state of Utah. Utah’s plan for staying safe while doing fall sports is that only counties in the yellow level of cases are allowed to play fall sports. During practices, the coaches will sometimes have to make decisions whether they want their players wearing masks but the players do have a choice of whether or not they want to wear masks. When they hold practice they are not allowed to have more than forty-nine people participating in the practice session. They also have to make sure that they do frequent checks to make sure they aren’t showing any chances of having coronavirus. The state of Utah also decided that if any games are canceled due to any reason then, they will have to find the team that didn’t show up. Even if they had widespread coronavirus reported. In Utah, there was a football game that was canceled because the fans neglected to wear masks in the stand. The coaches had to cancel it because even after they told them they would have to cancel the game if they didn’t wear masks. They still didn’t care and went on protest. The game was canceled because of that and it could create a lot of future problems for sports if the fans don’t wear masks to keep everyone safe.
Many sports teams are doing personal workouts from their coaches but every sport has something different that they are doing. For the cross country team at SLV, they are doing private coaching while wearing masks and staying six feet apart. So far for Water Polo, there haven’t been too many updates about that. Although, there have been rumors about it starting in the ocean for practice when the practice is allowed to happen. For football, their plans are doing their workouts from their coach. Lots of other sports teams are choosing to get workouts from their coaches and doing it on their own. Some other sports teams at SLV don’t have a plan for their athletes and it is up to the athletes to choose their workouts. In Santa Cruz County, teams are not yet allowed to meet up to practice together. The earliest that athletes can practice together is December 14th. School athletes in California are truly hoping they can go back as soon as possible while being able to stay safe.
So far, the future of whether California sports are going to happen is questionable. It depends on if the cases go down if a coronavirus vaccine can be distributed that would help, California school sports to go back in session. It might also depend on what tier each county is in. So far Santa Cruz is in the red tier which means that schools are not allowed to operate any in-person activities. If Santa Cruz doesn’t get many coronavirus cases it could potentially move into the yellow and green tier. There have been rumors that Santa Cruz manages to be one of the only counties that have stayed on the red, green, or yellow tier. They might have a plan to play only other teams in the county to hope to stop the spread of coronavirus. Schools might also reopen if they manage to stay in the red, yellow, or green tier.
When I asked Mr. Coulson said what he thought about the current situation for SLV sports here is what he said “ Currently due to the situation with COVID-19, we are not allowing any in-person activities for SLVHS athletics. Some coaches are doing virtual activities. We are closely and constantly monitoring state and local guidelines and when it is safe, we will transition to in-person activities. That transition has been affected by the CZU fire so our school will be behind other area schools as they transition back to in-person activities”.
Fall sports happening could also be based on whether the spread of coronavirus in California goes down too. The state has recently reported that it is starting to show less and less positive rates for coronavirus. This is a good sign, Nothing isn’t set in stone but as we go more into the fall we will find out more about SLV school sports and the future of it.
When I asked Mr. Coulson, the athletic director of SLVHS, what are the odds of SLV sports happening here is what he said “ I wish I could just put a number on it and say that it is 70/30 we will be able to play. It is, unfortunately, not that simple. There are so many factors that will ultimately determine what happens and most of those factors are out of our control. I can tell you with absolute certainty that if there is a safe way sports can be contested, we will be one of the schools playing. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to stay ready to play. Train on your own until we can train together. Also, everyone needs to do their part by wearing a mask when appropriate, practicing good hygiene, and participating in prudent social distancing.” Stay safe and wear a mask so we can go back to school and have school sports back on again.