The CIF Southern Section announced Tuesday that there will be no championships conducted for sports that compete under the Fall Schedule in light of the restrictions in place during to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This eliminates the possibility of playoffs for football, girls volleyball, cross country and water polo for both boys and girls.
If any games are to be played, girls volleyball and water polo will need to be completed by March 20. Cross country teams will need to be completed by March 27. Eleven-man football must be completed by April 17.
“Right now has been an extremely difficult time with what is happening around our state. It’s not that we’ve been out of touch or not staying in contact with the governor’s office and the California Department of Public Health. We’re going to continue to try to do what we can to return to high school sports,” CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod said in a conference call.
Of these sports, cross country was the only one that doesn’t involve physical contact. However, Wigod noted that have thousands of participants and fans together in one venue for a championship was not possible. The Southern Section cross country championship was scheduled to return to Mount San Antonio College, after being held at Riverside Community College in recent years following the unavailability of Mt. Sac due to construction.
Burbank High standout football player Jarren Flowers reflected on that fact he and his teammates will not be able to make another deep playoff run.
“With it being my senior year I wanted to win or compete for a championship,” Flowers said. “It sucks that it can’t happen this year. I’ve been playing football since I was six so a championship was always the goal. I still hope there is a season though because I was one last season with my teammates.”
Wigod said he wants student-athletes to know that the door is not closed on fall sports season.
“There is still time left in our fall sports, approximately two months, even longer for our football programs,” Wigod said. “Our Spring sports, hopefully in the next couple of months we’ll see the improvement so the Fall Sports can start and the spring sports can get started as well and we can see that in June we were able to accomplish some things.”
Wigod said the outlook for the spring sports season remains the same, as it is scheduled to start in March.
“If you are a spring sports athlete, we are hoping you will be on schedule, having a full regular season and an opportunity for section championships, state championships, regional championships if possible,” he said. “For that group, the path forward is still on schedule. Of course we have to follow the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health.”
Wigod said he has to remain optimistic.
“I don’t believe today is the day we tell the student-athletes that we are done fighting for them, that we are going to give up. As long as there is time remaining, then we need to keep that in mind and hopefully keep them focused and staying positive towards what is in front of them and deal with it as it comes. That’s what we’ve been doing since March,” Wigod said. “There is still time. There is time for the fall, there is time for the spring. As long as that is the case, we’re going to keep fighting. The only dates that are applicable now are the end of season dates that we included in today’s announcement. That means if a school can’t start water polo until March 2 and they want to play until March 20, then they will play until March 20. This will revert to our schools. They will have the ability to try to do what they can with the time that is remaining to them provided that the guidelines will allow them to play.”