“In another week we should know a lot more,” Weed High School athletic director Steve Neel said. “We're learning new things every day... We're doing the best we can to see if the kids can still have a season.”
With college and professional sports throughout the country canceled or delayed to slow the spread of coronavirus, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are also being felt strongly in Siskiyou County high schools.
Currently, spring sports will not start up again until at least sometime in mid-April, or may not take place at all.
There is still some hope the high school spring sports season will not be called off entirely due to COVID-19.
Last Tuesday, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Office and the 10 Section Commissioners, including the Northern Section, held their annual scheduled spring meeting.
This included a discussion concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 CIF spring sports season. It was decided not to cancel the season outright last Tuesday, but rather revisit the issue on April 3.
"While the time may come when we have to cancel post-season events, today is not that day," said a press release by the CIF.
The Shasta Cascade League, which includes Siskiyou County school Etna, Mount Shasta and Weed announced on Wednesday that the league unanimously voted to suspend league competition until at least April 20.
"This was a hard decision," said Sati Shah, Shasta Cascade League President and Mount Shasta High School principal in a press release. "However, the Shasta Cascade League feels that this is the best interest of our student-athletes at this time. "
League representatives will decide on April 17 on how to proceed with the remainder of the season.
Currently, due to school not being in session, high school teams are not allowed to practice at this time in California.
Weed High School athletic director Steve Neel is hopeful but realistic in regards to spring sports taking place this year.
To Neel, the next week is crucial and believes if things show some improvement in terms of COVID-19 rates stabilizing, the odds improve of a season taking place. If not, it may be more difficult as the weeks go by and the season could be called off.
“In another week we should know a lot more,” Neel said. “We’re learning new things every day... We’re doing the best we can to see if the kids can still have a season.”
“I’m always hopeful,” he added. “I just really think about how this impacts our kids and how they are feeling about this, especially our seniors and how it impacts them.”
Neel, who is also the head boys golf coach at WHS, said if the season resumes for golf, the plan is for teams to play each other in scrimmages leading up to an SCL championship, likely at the end of April, that will determine All-League selections and those moving on to the playoffs.
Ray Kellar, the principal, superintendent, and athletic director at Dunsmuir High School, said that he feels that the potential for games still taking place this season again is still a possibility.
He added that he does not know at this time how realistic it is though, "considering all other major athletics and professional sports have put the brakes on in this regard.”
"Everything is at a halt, and then within a week or two trying to get teams, athletes up and running could be problematic. But we can still hold out hope," he added.
Tracy Dickinson, athletic director at Etna High School., said that she was "bummed about the decision, but I don't see any way around it with all the schools closing."
"I really feel bad for the players (that) they aren't even allowed to practice," she added. "Everyone is doing their best in this time of uncertainty. I don't even know what to say. It is mind-blowing."
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