CIF Pushes Back Winter Sports Seasons Once Again

Despite the disheartening news for the student-athletes here at Sage and the rest of California, many understand CIF’s decision to postpone the season with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise.

Cooper Hancock, Co-sports editor

California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the governing body for high school sports in the U.S. state of California. On Dec. 1 issued an update, delaying the high schools sports once again due to safety precautions regarding COVID-19.

As many San Diego high school sports teams are already back on campus prepared for a December start to their seasons, California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) released an update on Dec. 1, 2020, delaying the winter sports seasons once again. With rising numbers of COVID-19, CIF believes that to combat the spread, these seasons need to be pushed back until updated guidance has been released by the State of California. At sage creek, the sports being affected include boys and girls volleyball, field hockey, and cross country with the spring sports most likely having their start dates pushed back as well. 

John Lee Evans, San Diego unified school district board president said the key to getting back to school and back to sports would be lowering the number of COVID-19 cases as a community.

“That way as a community the cases go down and eventually kids can come back to school and back to sports,” Evans said. 

Volleyball players stand socially distanced with masks on during one of their first practices back on campus for months. Most sports have returned back to campus for practices in which players must follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Evan’s message to the public was to spend the next several weeks making sure people are not gathering in groups and are wearing masks when they are out around other people and maintaining social distance. 

Despite the disheartening news for the student-athletes here at Sage and the rest of California, many understand CIF’s decision to postpone the season with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise. Field Hockey player, Kalani Emde expresses her initial reaction to the update.

“I was a little bummed that CIF was delaying the season again but glad that they are taking precautionary measures and prioritizing safety,” Emde said.

Playing their desired sport has become second hand to making sure they and their families stay healthy during this global pandemic. CIF members including Sage Creek’s very own PE teacher and Volleyball coach, David Savage have closely monitored the recent COVID-19 news and numbers. Emphasizing the risk of having youth and high school teams practice/compete during this uncertain time. 

“This is extremely complicated, especially with multiple sports using the same facilities and while this is not ideal we look forward to anything at this point as we all just want the kids to play,” Savage said.

Junior, Stormy Wallace sprints alongside competitors at the Desert Twilight Invitational in Casa Grande, Arizona in an unattached race. Wallace along with other student-athletes have done whatever they can to stay prepared for their high school season even during a pandemic.

Savage along with the rest of CIF remain optimistic that high school sports will finally be able to resume activity this school year. In the meantime, athletes have found other ways to stay fit and prepared for a hopeful season. This could be playing for a local club team, practicing on your own, or participating in events unaffiliated. Cross country runners, Stormy Wallace and Malia Leupold shared their experiences with running during the pandemic. 

“I found races in Arizona, there were unattached races because of COVID and all of the unattached runners ran together,” Wallace said.

“I’ve also been running with my club team, it was a very short club season, but I’ve been doing a race or two with them to stay race fit,” Leupold said.

Although these opportunities exist for youth athletes to still compete, the thrill and excitement of competing for their high school always prevail. It’s important to “remain flexible to create a season from whatever opportunity we are given,”  Savage said.