Islander Girls Cross Country Team ...

The Islander Girls Cross Country Team is pictured at the starting line of the 2019 Western League Championships. The 2019 Islander Girls Cross Country Team, from left, Abigail Hundley, Jessica Ehret, Sofia Van Arsdale, Dana Jennings, Anna Youngblood and Ryan Brophy start their 3.11-mile run in the Western League Championships. Hundley and Van Arsdale finished in the Top 10, earning them First Team All-Western League honors. 

Many here in Coronado have waited to hear for months when practices and games will regularly resume for Coronado High School sports. And on Jan. 15, that question was answered, at least for some sports. Islander Sports Foundation (ISF) and Athletic Director Robin Nixon announced that at the start of February, Co-ed Cross Country, Girls Golf, Boys Golf, Co-ed Swim, Co-ed Tennis, and Co-ed Track & Field would be allowed to resume normal practices.

This local announcement came following the announcement of the California Interscholastic Foundation (CIF) COVID-19 tier list came out showing which teams would be allowed to practice in each tier. While these sports are being allowed, there will still be no competitions/games allowed until San Diego county is taken off the stay at home order. According to the CIF press release of Jan. 12, “ Competition between two teams will not be allowed in California until Jan. 25, 2021, at the earliest. Once a return to competition is allowed, every participating school’s county must also be in the authorized tier status for the respective sport to compete.” As well there will be no out of state competitions allowed. When games are allowed to resume, there will be some slight modifications that help keep students safe.

According to the press release from ISF, “While we are still not sure the exact dates practice will be allowed to start, tentative dates can be found on the ISF website. All other sports have not been approved to begin official practice.”

The tentative dates for each sports first practices, from the ISF website, are as follows: Co-Ed Cross Country tentative start date Feb. 1; Co-Ed Swim, tentative start date Feb. 8; Girls Golf tentative start date Feb 8; Boys Golf tentative start date Feb. 15; Co-Ed Tennis tentative start date Feb. 16; and Co-Ed Track & Field tentative start date Feb 22.

However, with these announcements also came some other logistical changes for student-athletes, one major change being that students may only be allowed to play one CIF sport at a time. I asked Nixon why CIF had made this decision. “Students are only allowed to play the one sport to limit the amount of cross-over potential from sport to sport. We still have to exercise as much caution as possible.”

Another change according to Nixon and the ISF press release is the matter of team sizes, which may have to be smaller to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and CIF regulations, as the press release stated, “There will most likely be additional health guidelines (masks, etc.…) that will need to be followed, but CIF and CUSD are still working on those. Safety protocols may also need to limit the number of participants per sport. As more information becomes available, we will put announcements on each sports page and also will email all registered athletes.” With the possibility of more limited space per sport, teams may have to turn to tryouts if their sport goes beyond its capacity number.

While some teams are allowed to practice again, there is still a slew of Coronado High teams waiting their turn. If COVID-19 numbers improve here in San Diego county, the next tier that would be eligible to return for practice would be the Red/ Substantial tier, which includes Baseball, Softball, and Girls Lacrosse. The Orange/Moderate tier follows with Badminton, Football, Gymnastics, Boys Lacrosse, Soccer, Volleyball, and Water Polo. And the last to be able to return to practice and play would be those in the Yellow/Minimal tier, including Basketball, Competitive Cheerleading, and Wrestling. 

I asked Nixon if any decision had been made regarding sports that are traditionally winter sports, such as Football. “While things could change, it sounds likes for sports such as football is that they will have to have a drop-dead date of the end of February to say whether or not will be able to have those sports.” 

Another matter still somewhat in the air is the matter of JV teams here in Coronado and across San Diego country. Which ultimately, according to Nixon, could come down to two things, field availability and what other teams are doing around the county.

While we have a way to go before we see games again here in San Diego county for prep sports, this is certainly a step in the right direction. And as Nixon said, “This is a good sign that they’re trying. With the (COVID-19) numbers the way they are, we will see what actually happens.”

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