High school sports benched until winter

Central Section of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) will adopt a modified two-season format for the 2020-2021 school year

CENTRAL VALLEY – As high schools begin reworking plans to open the fall semester with online learning, athletes are now wondering when they can get back on the field.

On Monday, the central section of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced that the 2020-2021 season will be modified, with fall sports being pushed to winter.

Sports such as cross country, water polo, volleyball, and football will begin practicing on Dec 14. The seasons are planned to start on Dec. 28 except for football which will start on Jan 7. Winter and spring sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, etc. will begin in March. The summer period for all sports started on Monday July 20 and will until Dec 12. Valley championship tournaments are also expected for all sports. More information about regional and state championships will be announced by the CIF in the coming months.

Athletes are not allowed to play the same sport in one school year. However, athletes are also allowed to play multiple sports at the same time if they desire. But that will force multi-sport athletes to make some tough decisions.

Redwood High School senior Krissy Hetherington said that it will be a difficult transition to go from no sports in the fall while getting adjusted to online school, to having to compete in multiple sports in a short period of time.

“I have no clue how I’m going to make basketball and track work [at the same time], especially since I’m trying to get a scholarship for track,” Hetherington said. “It’ll start to get draining trying to balance schoolwork in addition to three sports in a four-month period.”

Hetherington is a three-sport athlete between track and field, cross-country, and basketball. She was captain of the basketball team last season but is also striving to run track at the college level. The pandemic has made it difficult to get noticed by college track and field programs since her junior season was cut short.

“If you are a multi-sport athlete, it will put a lot of strain on your body all at once while trying to get noticed by schools. If you get hurt, then you’re pretty much done for that whole season because they’re so short,” she said.

There will likely be athletes who will just want to focus on one sport. That will have a major effect on small school schools who rely on multi-sport athletes to fill their various teams.

“We will probably have many athletes choose one sport over another. This could limit numbers which could affect junior varsity programs. It could also provide more playing time and practice for other athletes at the same time though,” Farmersville Athletic Director Richard Dybas said. “We will also see coaches and players working together to play multiple sports during the spring season, possibly alternating days to practice and play.”

For now, Dybas and other athletic directors around the state will have ample time to prepare for the upcoming seasons and schedule games.

Start typing and press Enter to search