Running back Shayne Turner (No. 9) found a hole in the Eagle’s 2019 Homecoming game against visiting Clear Lake on Oct. 18, 2019. High school athletes, coaches and fans remain hopeful that sports such as football will be allowed to play when school reopens this fall.

Local athletes give go-ahead to begin summer conditioning programs

Local high school athletes won’t have to wait much longer to learn the fate of the upcoming fall season, according to a recent update from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

The governing body for state high school athletics, the CIF announced that a final determination for the fall season will be made on July 20, largely based on the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The CIF is prepared to offer alternative calendars if it is determined (by July 20) that fall sports may not start as scheduled due to ongoing public health and safety concerns,” the CIF said in a press release. “We continue to monitor the directives and guidelines released from the governor’s office, the California Department of Education and state/local county health departments and agencies, as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts when they are planning when and how to reopen this fall.” 

The CIF also announced changes to the school transfer policy, which will now allow students whose parents have experienced financial hardships during shelter in place to be granted a waiver for transfers during the first semester of the 2020-21 school year. This waiver would apply to qualifying student/athletes wishing to participate in all CIF-sanctioned sports in the fall.

As things stand now, official practices for fall high school sports teams are set to begin on Aug.10, with the first football games set to start on Aug. 26. 

Summer conditioning training given OK

 At the time of this writing, most Sonoma County high schools have been granted permission for athletes to participate in organized summer conditioning training sessions starting this week, following strict guidelines set by CIF, CDC and local health officials.

These guidelines include (but are not limited to) social distancing rules, no sharing of equipment, the gathering of small groups of 10 or fewer and masks to be worn to and from training sessions.   

“Hopefully as we monitor new regulations each week, we can inch a little closer toward normalcy,” Healdsburg High School Athletic Director Brian Osborn said. “But for now, baby steps.”  

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