By Darren Sabedra
When the California Department of Public Health released its long-awaited youth sports guidelines in mid-December, it stated that while nothing would start before Jan. 25, it would reassess the situation by Jan. 4.
Well, Jan. 4 came and went without a reassessment — at least a public one — by the CDPH.
The Bay Area News Group reached out Monday to the California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body for high school athletics, to see if there was an update.There was not.
Source: Bay Area high school sports on pause: Where things stand after holidays – Times-Herald
By Matt O’Donnell
The year 2021 promises some hope for college athletes but the early portion of the year may look a lot like 2020.
Solano Community College recently chose to “opt out” of playing sports like men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and women’s soccer. Those sports were originally scheduled to start in 2020 but were pushed to the new year for hope that the coronavirus pandemic outlook would improve.
Source: Coronavirus: Solano Community College chooses to ‘opt out’ for several sports – Times-Herald
New turf was installed at Corbus Field in Vallejo this week. The money for the project is paid through Measure S funds, according to the Vallejo Unified School District. The work on the field is part of phase one of a makeover. Phase two is not expected to happen until 2024 and will be much more involved. Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high schools share the field for sports like football, soccer and track.
Source: Photo: Corbus Field gets December makeover – Times-Herald
Citing the spread of coronavirus cases as the culprit, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, Nov. 16, that California is considering delaying the release of new guidelines for high school and youth sports competition, a development that casts doubt on whether the already-delayed high school season will start on time next month.
Speaking during a news conference about the state’s response to the pandemic, Newsom said he reviewed guidelines for high school and youth sports to return to competition and “signed off” on them but added that he is considering delaying their release.
Since Aug. 3, high school and youth sports in the state have been limited to physical conditioning and skill training and prohibited from competition because of the coronavirus pandemic. The high school and youth sports communities have been waiting for weeks for an update, especially after Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said last week that an update would be ready soon.
Source: Gov. Newsom says surge of COVID-19 cases might delay release of new guidelines for high school, youth sports competition [The Orange County Register]
BY Elliott Almond
As the prospects of starting prep football practice in December grew dimmer with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, California’s public health secretary Friday said his office is close to releasing guidelines for high school and youth sports.
“Stay tuned, it will come out soon,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary.
Speaking during a video presentation about how the state is confronting the spike in cases, Ghaly said his office is holding conversations with the stakeholders of high school and youth sports before releasing a plan. Ghaly said public health officials want to make sure they understand what is possible while “respecting the fact we are seeing a surge in cases.”
Source: ‘COVID’s driving the bus’ as high schools sports play the waiting game – Times-Herald
By Matt O’Donnell
Schools like Solano Community College have some huge decisions to make soon concerning sports starting in 2021.
The California Community College Athletic Association Board of Directors voted on Friday to continue with the Contingency Plan, which provides the state’s community colleges a framework for a return to competition, while also providing decision-making guidance for institutions.
Source: Solano Community College still on track for sports in 2021 (for now) – Times-Herald
By Matt O’Donnell
In 2018, Benicia High School’s Janari Boone admitted to being anxious before the start of the first game of the season.
After all, he was a freshman linebacker, starting on the varsity football team.
“It was crazy,” Boone said. “I was nervous and I was scared, but people told me, ‘Relax, you’ve been doing this your whole life’ since I had always played against older players before. But on the first play of the first game, I made a tackle and settled down.”
When Boone starts the first game of the 2020-21 season, he may not experience any tension. Instead, the feeling may be more surreal.
Source: Janari Boone should be two-sport star at Benicia High School – Times-Herald
By Dan Albano
Last week two national authorities on high school sports sympathized with those frustrated by the state of school-based and youth sports in California, which have been limited since early August to conditioning and skill development.
Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and Jon Solomon, editorial director of the nonprofit Aspen Institute’s sports and society program, expressed concern for high school sports in California.
Source: Californians frustrated by lack of high school sports – The Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
At this time of the year in 2019, the Vallejo High School football team already played its final game.
In 2020, the Redhawks haven’t even gotten started.
That hasn’t stopped players like Dommanic Bell from dreaming about what might happen. Practice for North Coast Section schools is scheduled to begin on Dec. 7, and the Redhawks’ first official game is Jan. 7 at Kennedy. The California Interscholastic Federation postponed all fall sports throughout the state with the football season pushed to the next calendar year.Once Vallejo Unified School District officials give their OK, the Redhawks can start conditioning as well.
Source: Vallejo High’s Dommanic Bell could again play three sports – Times-Herald
By Matt O’Donnell
When Solano County moved into Tier 2 (red) on Sept. 23, some athletic directors were able to get their athletes back onto campus for conditioning with limited numbers.
So far, that has not applied to athletes at Jesse Bethel and Vallejo high schools.
Last week, the Vallejo Unified School District told both schools that they could not move forward with conditioning. The schools were able to condition during a portion of the summer before coronavirus numbers in the county became too high.
Source: Vallejo Unified School District not allowing conditioning for prep sports yet – Times-Herald
By Paul Farmer
Running backs and quarterbacks are usually measured by the yardage they’ve gained, which is also true for receivers.
Yet receivers have another stat that shows their value to the teams they play for: receptions.
The city record for receptions in a season stood for 26 years, though few other stats for that player – Fairfield’s Kirk Broussard – are available from his 1982 campaign.
Source: City top-10 single-season receptions leaders: Vanden’s Dion Williams had most catches in season – by 19
By Matt O’Donnell
Benicia High School defensive end Miles Bailey hasn’t played a snap for the 2020-21 season yet. That hasn’t stopped colleges from taking notice.
Bailey, a 6-foot-4, 241-pound junior, is being recruited by schools like Colorado, Colorado State, Cal, Fresno State and San Jose State after attending two football showcases.
Scouts were impressed by Bailey after the Elite Underclassmen Camp in Las Vegas and the Best of the West Showcase in Reno.
Source: Benicia High defensive lineman Miles Bailey is now a three-star recruit – Times-Herald
By Peter Fournier
Alejandro “Jando” Lara still wants to step up to the plate in a Major League Baseball ballpark someday, even if his last three years have seen a lifetime’s worth of obstacles placed in the way, making the journey longer than he’d like.
It’s a simple path for most worthy prospects: high school ball, college ball, the MLB draft and then the minor leagues – if you’re good enough.
And Lara has shined when he’s been able to perform at his best on the diamond – when “he’s been able to” being the key words to his so-far chaotic collegiate career just 30 miles away from his hometown at UC Davis.
Source: Vanden grad Lara pushes past obstacles in quest for hopeful MLB career
By Nick Sestanovich
To make up for lost maintenance work at Vacaville Unified School District schools due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, crews performed work on the baseball fields at Hemlock Elementary School and Willis Jepson Middle School this past week.
The work began Tuesday and is scheduled to be completed Friday.
Images of the fields after a tractor had run through them had become widely circulated throughout social media beginning Tuesday with parents expressing outrage that their kids would not have a place to keep their minds at ease and stay active during the shutdown. One common explanation given was that the district was trying to keep kids off the fields while school and sports are not in session
Source: VUSD: Activity on baseball fields was due to maintenance – The Reporter
By Ryan Hill
Vacaville parents and coaches are furious after they say softball fields were destroyed by the Vacaville Unified School District.
“The fields are getting destroyed out here in Vacaville,” Luis Perez, a parent and coach, said.
“We’ve seen that on Tuesday at one of our sessions for workouts and training we had; there was a tractor out on the field coming out and blatantly stated that they were going to destroy the field,” Angelia Sandoval, a parent upset over fields, said.
Source: Vacaville Parents, Coaches Upset After They Say Softball Fields Were Destroyed – CBS Sacramento
By Matt Sieger
Vanden High School has been chomping at the bit to honor its student-athletes who have signed letters of intent to play in college and have received athletic scholarships.
But, like so many other events, a signing ceremony had to be put on hold due to COVID-19. Finally, the school planned to hold the event for its ten student-athletes in the Vanden parking lot on Saturday. But that became unviable because of the number of guests that would have attended.
So the high school, wanting to wait no longer, prepared a video to send out to students, parents and staff on Saturday. You can watch the video at https://youtu.be/n_WHgafSryw.
Source: Vanden High School honors ten student-athletes – The Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
The fall sports slate at Solano Community College is totally blank. On the other hand, the spring sports schedule could be booked almost every day of the week.
The California Community College Athletic Association announced that all its sports — even the socially-distanced friendly ones — will be played in the calendar year of 2021. The CCCAA features 110 colleges throughout the state and approximately 24,000 athletes.
“To be frank, I am not surprised, in light of the spikes of COVID cases,” said Solano Athletic Director Erik Visser. “Once you saw those spikes, we’d be taking a big chance competing in the fall. I am glad that we now have some clarity.”
Source: All California community colleges, including Solano, move sports to the spring – Times-Herald
By Matt Sieger
Education Week reported that schools in at least 11 states suspended high school sports activities in June after players or coaches tested positive for coronavirus amid a resurgence of cases across the United States.
Games, practices or training and conditioning sessions have been suspended in parts of Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas just weeks after schools reopened athletic facilities for students and coaches.
Close to home, on July 5 Dixon High School suspended its athletic activities. The school issued a press release stating, “Based upon recent COVID 19 cases locally and information from the state, we have to suspend workouts for Dixon High School athletics. We expect to hear from the county health office early in the week. We will be in touch as soon as we have county approval.”
Source: Local high school football programs moving forward – The Reporter
By Paul Farmer
Rodriguez High may be the newest high school in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District as it enters its 20th school year this fall, but there’s been enough time for the Mustangs – their athletes, coaches and fans – to come up with some amazing stories.
And documentaries. Having done stories on what would make interesting documentaries at Armijo and Fairfield high schools the past two weeks, it’s now Rodriguez’s turn.
Source: Rodriguez documentaries: Mustangs stampeded to some great stories
By Paul Fournier
While the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the spring sports season, Vanden High began fall sports conditioning workouts Monday – with safety of the student-athletes as part of every step of the plan.
“It’s not like before with conditioning where you walk out an hour ahead of time because you’ve done it so many years before,” said Matthew Bidou, Vanden athletic director. “That’s not the case. We didn’t have coaches meetings, we had coaches training, doctors training, Zoom training sessions. We think we did things 100 percent right. I think we can have the safest environment. And the turnout’s been overwhelming.
”According to Vikings coach Sean Murphy, “Out of the 90, 95 kids signed up, we had 87 (show up). Long day, loooong day.”
Source: Vanden football begins summer conditioning – with an abundance of caution