For the past five months, many coaches here in Coronado have been faced with the same question: Will there be a 2020-2021 season for Coronado High School sports? As time has gone on, that question still looms large and was not made any clearer by California Interscholastic Foundation (CIF).
On Nov. 16, the CIF State Office released the statement that an updated youth sports guideline had been postponed and thus “The current guidelines will remain in effect, and CIF competitions are not allowed until new guidance is provided.” While the announcement may not come as a shock to many due to the increased COVID cases across the state and nationwide, It is still one that was a disappointment to many coaches here in Coronado.
“When we first heard the announcement, me and my entire staff were really disappointed, for several reasons,” said head football coach Kurt Hines. “It’s unfortunate for us as a coaching staff because we’ve done a really great job of planning and staying prepared. We had originally been told that we would be starting the season on Dec. 12, but it’s clear that is no longer an option. But it’s really unfortunate for our young men and women, who have continued to practice and stay in shape during these challenging times. But all we can do is control what we can control.”
“With the announcement, it only makes me more skeptical that we are going to have a season,” said Coronado Baseball head coach Morgan Cummins. “It’s a bummer for the players, but I don’t see how we can safely have fans in the stands, and I don’t know if the league and CIF will be able to come up with a safe and sound plan by the time that the spring season rolls around.”
Cummings wasn’t the only coach whose skepticism has grown following the CIF State’s office statement. Hines told me, “With the announcement, it does make it more difficult to see how this season is going to materialize. The longer it takes for us to get the green light or an updated set of guidelines, the smaller the time frame we have to create schedules and limit the number of games that we can have in a season. And for football specifically, it’ brings next season into question as well. Because I don’t know if they would allow two football seasons in one calendar year.”
However, some coaches like coach Mackenzie White, head coach of the men’s tennis team, believes that the 2020-2021 season is still a possibility, saying, “I still think we still have a good shot at playing this season. Since tennis is a spring time sport, we’re still on track. Yes, the circumstances have been less than ideal. But for us, the New CIF update didn’t have that large of an impact on us.”
Another potential issue from the fall out of the new CIF announcement that I asked coaches about was how to deal with multi-sport athletes. Cummins believes that the situation is fluid saying “I don’t really know how it will be handled as of right now; [but] I’m sure that will be a decision made by either CIF or by the School itself.”
White added here option on multisport athletes saying“ I think that will be a discussion that will occur internally. We’ll most likely know that answer the closer we get to a decision on the season.”
The CIF State statement also only added further frustration for several coaches here in Coronado. But while the frustration is there for coaches, they made it clear that their players’ well-being and safety is priority no. 1. “It’s frustrating. A plan would be nice. It feels like we’ve been without one for a while, and with CIF coming out with this, it only added to the frustration. But at the same time keeping everyone safe is more important than baseball/youth sports here in Coronado, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that,” said Cummins.
Hines echoed this, saying, “As much as I want to get back on that field and have my players strap the pads on again. I want even more for my players to be safe; football is a game at the end of the day. What matters way more is their health and well-being.”
For now, coaches here in Coronado will have to do what they’ve been doing for the last five months. Wait and hope that the green light for a season comes soon.