Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Colusa County athletes heartbroken by sports delay 

Ashley Garcia and Jocelyn Paiz give a thumbs up to returning to practice for the Williams JV Volleyball team.

With the rise of Covid-19 cases in California counties, the California Interscholastic Federation has once again pushed pause on its return-to-play plans for sports, including football and volleyball. 

Coaches countywide had to inform their athletes their season was on hold just weeks before some schools were rescheduled for full practice and games. 

“Thus, all full practices and competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued,” the CIF said in a news release on Dec. 1. 

“I am choosing to remain positive,” said Colusa coach, Kim Travis. “Although it’s extremely disappointing to hear the news from CIF.”

Most of the schools in the county had already begun practice two days a week for volleyball, cheer, and football, with an anticipation that games would begin as early as Dec. 28 for Colusa Volleyball. 

“As a senior, it has been hard to adjust to the losses covid has brought,” said Kaylie Gwinnup. “With volleyball being my main sport, I feel more disappointed than ever. I know there are people who are really struggling with COVID and losing our volleyball season seems minuscule to others, but it is important to us. It’s upsetting, but we have to be conscientious of the health and safety of people around us.” 

With no official time for when guidelines will be released for a start date, NCS commissioner Pat Cruickshank stated the Northern Section does not plan to announce a new start until the coronavirus picture becomes more clear. 

“Until we get those guidelines, we can’t really determine what a start is,” said Cruickshank, whose jurisdiction extends from Alameda County to the coastal side of the Oregon border. “I don’t believe we are going to see anything in December.” 

Colusa, Pierce and Williams football and volleyball seasons were scheduled for a January through March season, while Maxwell looked to start their basketball season during those months. 

“It’s my senior year,” said Wyatt Hendrix, Maxwell High School. “This year has been a roller coaster, from starting school on a computer to returning to school, conditioning for football and now practicing for basketball, with no knowledge of if we are ever going to play again. It’s disheartening to think the year you wait for out of 13 years of schooling, has basically been cancelled.” 

While the state has a plethora of regulations and rules to decipher about sports, the assumption of this ruling being easy is anything but that. 

Coaches believe sports play a vital role in the mental and physical well-being of these athletes, and while they understand the COVID-19 concern, it breaks their hearts to tell these athletes that they are once again delayed. 

CIF stated they would continue to do their part to find the best opportunity for sports to resume, but that athletes should not look for new guidelines to arrive until after the first of the year.

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