High school football to kick off Jan. 7; CIF says no prep sports for rest of 2020

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — To the list of unprecedented changes to everyday life prompted by the pandemic, add this — California’s high school sports calendar will undergo some drastic adjustments this year.

The California interscholastic federation — that’s the state’s governing body for high school sports — announced Monday that, as expected, there will be no high school sports for the rest of the 2020 calendar year.

All three seasons, fall, winter and spring, will be crammed into two, with winter and spring essentially combined, and the games won’t start until January, although CIF sections – those are the regional divisions within the state — may authorize practices to start in December.

The opening high school football games of the season, for example, will likely be played Jan. 7.

Garces High School senior Zach Buckey says it’s far better than the alternative.

“High school football is timeless and classic,” Buckey said. “I knew there would be a season. I knew we were going to play high school football. When, I was never really confident in. I’m still not super confident ’cause anything can happen between now and January. But I’m just glad they were able to get together and get a date going.”

The revised calendar has sports like baseball and softball going practically until July — June 26, to be specific, when the state playoffs must be complete. Of course it’s all subject to change if the pandemic worsens in late fall.

Stan Greene, who is in essence the athletic director for the entire Kern High School District, prefers to take an optimistic view.

“It’s really strange to have this happen,” said Greene, who is the KHSD’s director of school support services. “That being said, we were going to have a situation where it might not happen, right? We could have had a complete cancellation and the fact is, we can still have that. I think it just provides us some hope — that there’s hope on the horizon that our kids are going to get an opportunity to play.”

Kids who may have feared they’d lose their entire senior seasons because of the pandemic can focus now on staying healthy and getting ready for a season. They still don’t have any assurances, but as Greene said, now they another reason to have hope.

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