CIF Northern Section creates sports calendar for 2020-21 season

Bill Choy and Ethan Hanson
Siskiyou Daily News
Miner Anthony Carrillo gains extra yards after a catch against Henley in 2019.

Northern Section officials have announced that high schools will have the option to restart their athletic programs in December or February as long as the state permits games.

The 2020 spring sports season ended in March due to California’s stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Last Wednesday’s announcement is the first sign of movement from the section since state officials suspended competition in August following a surge in cases around the state as communities began to reopen their economies.

Although there is a sports schedule on the calendar, no games or competitions will be allowed until the state lifts health restrictions.

Schools in Siskiyou County are looking at spring sports options so athletes can have the option of playing more than one sport. 

CIF Northern Section Commissioner Liz Kyle stated via email that principals from various schools will choose either a fall sports or a spring sports season. 

A fall sports schedule could combine football, basketball, volleyball and competitive cheerleading programs. 

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Football programs would be allowed to start practicing on Dec. 15. 

Both football and volleyball programs would be eligible to compete in the state playoffs under the fall sports schedule.

Sports that will stay in the fall in the 2020-21 season are cross country, skiing/snowboarding and competitive cheerleading. Each of these sports will be eligible for a state title. 

A spring sports schedule could combine football and volleyball with winter and spring sports like basketball, soccer, wrestling, baseball, softball, track and field, swimming and diving, golf and tennis into one season. Football practice would start Feb. 15. Basketball would be eligible to compete for a state title.

School principals will have until Sept. 25 to notify Kyle as to which season their sports programs will choose. Kyle also said that schools would be reorganized into various leagues and divisions as needed.

“The calendar was developed by the board of managers and approved at today’s meeting,” Kyle said. “The Northern Section member schools, leagues, and administrators worked together to meet the needs of all student athletes.” 

Yreka High School athletic director Ken Dysert said YHS plans to participate  in the spring sports schedule to allow students to participate in multiple sports programs. Because of this, YHS will change their scheduling with local teams, Dysert said.

“I think it is extremely important for students to be able to participate in sports,” he said. “There is a level of frustration in the students because of the lack of sports, they are wanting to do something.”

Weed High School athletic director Steve Neel said the plan from the Shasta Cascade meeting – which Weed, Mount Shasta, and Etna High are part of – is to take part in the spring sports schedule. “I think this suits us better,” Neel said. 

“This certainly help our athletes who want to play three sports,” he said. “I think this is the best option for us.”

He added that he liked the fact that football would be played in March since snow will likely be covering fields in Siskiyou County areas like Modoc and Trinity in Jan. and Feb.

Neel said it is still up in the air what the schedule will look like but he knows it will be a shortened season. While Neel said they know they will play teams from the SCL, it is still yet to be determined what other schools in the NSCIF who are similarly sized will do to allow students to participate in the three-sports schedule.

Neel is hopeful that by the time practices begin, they will get the ‘OK’ from the State to continue sports. 

Currently, students have the option of taking part in an elective, such as sports training. Neel said the student-athletes are pleased to be training again and are looking forward to finally play again, hopefully.

“The kids are excited,” Neel said. “It’s been good to see them again, and getting going again.”

Mount Shasta athletic director Jerry Oldham was one of two AD’s along with the AD from Trinity High School that took part in the section board of manager meeting. He said the SCL suggested the spring sports option with leagues, which will help smaller schools.

To Oldham, this plan gives smaller schools more flexibility, and gives students the option of playing more than one sport. Without this option, Oldham said some sports may not have taken place at MSHS due to not having enough players participate.

Oldham is hopeful smaller schools such as Los Molinos and Portola will decide to compete in the spring season so they will be more schools to face. 

Oldham said that it’s important to start sports again for these athletes. “It will be good to get back and have some sense of normality back in their lives.” 

Below are important dates to note for each sport based on whether they will be placed in the fall or spring sports season. Dates are subject to change by CIF.

Fall season

• Football (state qualifiers): Competition would start Jan. 7. League games would end March 19. Section final is on April 10. State final is on April 17. 

• Basketball: Competition would start Jan. 4. League competition ends Feb. 19. Section final is on Feb. 27. No state final.

• Football: Competition would start Jan. 7. League competition would end Feb. 19. Section final would conclude either March 5 or March 10.

• Volleyball: Competition would start Dec. 28. League competition would end Feb. 25. Section final would be concluded by March 13. State final date is on March 20.

• Competition cheer: Competition would start Dec. 28. League competition ends April 2. Section final date is April 10. State final is April 17.

• Cross country: Competition would begin Dec. 28. Last date for league competition would end on March 9. Section final would end on March 11. State finals would be March 11.

• Skiing/snowboarding: Competition starts Jan. 4. State final would begin the last week of February.

Spring sports

• Football: Competition begins March 5. League competition ends April 23. Section final is May 8. No state final.

• Basketball: Competition will start in either February or March. Teams that are designated as state qualifiers will have their section game on June 12 and will be eligible to play a state playoff game on June 19. Other section title games will commence on either April 23 or April 24.

• Volleyball: Matches will begin on March 1. League competition will end on April 23. Section final is May 8. No state final.

• Soccer: Games will begin in either February or March. Teams that are designated state qualifiers will play their section final on May 29. The state final will be June 5. Non-qualifiers will play a section title match April 23.

• Wrestling: Meets and tournaments begin March 29. League competition ends May 22. Section final is June 5. State meet is June 12.

• Track and Field: Competition will begin March 29. League competition ends June 2. Section final is June 11. State meet is June 26.

•  Tennis: Matches start March 29. League competition ends May 4. Section final is May 29. State final is June 5.

• Swimming and diving: Meets start March 29. League competition ends May 21. Section meet is on May 29. State meet is June 5.

• Baseball: Based on each individual school, games will start either March 29 or May 7. Section title games will be June 19. State title game will be June 26.

• Softball: Based on each individual school, games will start March 29 or May 7. Section final games will be June 19. State finals will be June 26.

• Golf: Tournaments and matches will be on March 29. League competitions will end May 28. Section finals are scheduled for June 12. State tournament will be held June 23.