The Northern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation – which encompasses all Siskiyou County high school teams – is planning at this time to move on with fall sports as they're scheduled, it announced Monday.

SISKIYOU COUNTY – The Northern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation – which encompasses all Siskiyou County high school teams – is planning at this time to move on with fall sports as they’re scheduled, it announced Monday.

This is in contrast to the decision announced on Monday by the CIF to move fall and winter sports to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re not taking sports off the table,” Northern Section commissioner Liz Kyle is reported by MaxPreps to have said of the executive committee’s decision to play a traditional sports calendar.

The state on Monday announced it was moving the fall, winter and spring sports calendars back to two season – fall and spring – to begin in early 2021, MaxPreps said. Moments after the CIF announcement, the Northern Section released its own plan to play fall sports, including football, as close to the regular calendar as possible.

“CIF-NS member school teams will begin league play when the member school districts’ county health officers approve the implementation of youth sports, including high school athletics,” a  press release from the NSCIF said.

The decision was made at a meeting on Friday in anticipation of the decision by the CIF on Monday.

Siskiyou County athletic directors and coaches emphasized they support the decision by the section but understand things are constantly changing.

While cases of COVID-19 in Siskiyou County and the rest of the Northern Section are relativity low compared to the rest of the state, if cases go up sports could be delayed or called off entirely.

“We are excited to have a chance to play sports,” said Etna High School athletic director Tracy Dickinson. “We are hoping for the county to make it possible so athletes can have a chance to participate. Times are crazy but hoping for some semblance of normalcy.”

Schools would still need to get approval from their county health departments to be able to play.

By playing in the fall and other schools throughout the state playing next year, NSCIF teams would not be eligible for state playoffs.

Fall sports include football, volleyball, cross country, girls golf, girls tennis at Yreka, and soccer for many schools – not including YHS, which plays in the winter.

Yreka High School assistant cross country coach Pam Borg, said it appears that  the NSCIF “can have a pretty normal schedule if all participating school districts allow participation ... I’m waiting to hear from our district and league president as there are a lot of questions that need to be discussed,” she added.

Mount Shasta athletic director Jerry Oldham said they should have a clearer picture of the schedule and the overarching plan once school administrators from throughout the county and section return from summer break in early August. He added that athletes are already training at schools using safe social distancing measures.

He said he has been in constant contact with fellow athletic directors in the area and region to get an idea of what other schools are doing.

Oldham said the main goal is to be as safe as possible for everyone. He added it is still being determined what will take place in terms of fans in the stands but believes things will become clearer in early August.

“I’m glad we can give them a season, especially for our seniors,” Oldham said. He said he felt bad for the seniors in the spring that were unable to play high school sports one final time.

“It’s definitely  still a fluid situation,” he said. “We’re just moving forward, following all the guidelines and we’ll see what happens.”

In the NSCIF press release, it stated that the section still plans to host section playoffs for fall sports using a modified playoff structure.

“We are continuously monitoring the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts with student health and safety at the forefront,” the CIF release states. “CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local section.”