Fall sports in limbo ahead of CIF announcement

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The California Interscholastic Federation announced last week that it will make a decision about the future of fall high school sports on July 20.

In a news release sent out on Friday, CIF officials said that several options were being considered, but they remain committed to holding fall, winter and spring sporting competitions. Rob Wigod, commissioner of athletics for CIF Southern Section said in a statement that the final decision to restart sports training and competitions would ultimately be made by the superintendants and school boards of the individual districts.

The biggest concern for most coaches and athletes is the ever shrinking time for pre-season conditioning as the stay-at-home order keeps facilities including locker and weight rooms closed. This is of particular concern for more physically demanding sports such as football.

Claremont High School football’s first game for the 2020 season is the annual rival game against Damien scheduled for August 27 in La Verne. CHS football coach Shane Hile said he would absolutely have to start practice by August 1 at the latest to be ready for competition by the end of that month.

“You don’t want to send them out to play with only a few weeks of training,” he said. “It’s a big deal to condition right, to get the boys into the weight room to avoid injury.”

Ordinarily, the football team would have been practicing twice a week beginning when the students returned from spring break. That schedule continues through mid July and the first week of August, Monday through Friday. The lack of the early training months has made summer practice more critical, so Coach Hile has submitted a proposal to CHS Principal Brett O’Connor to begin small group practices by July 6.

Wolfpack football has been assigned to the San Antonio League for the upcoming season, going up against Chaffey, Don Lugo and West Covina. Claremont struggled in the Palomares League with a 2-3 record in 2019.

“Our playoff game against Chaffey was great, particularly knowing that we will be in the same league next year,” Coach Hile said. “Big schools like Glendora Ayala were a bit much for us. We are in a league that will give us more of a competitive chance, we’re pretty excited about it.”

Claremont’s champion cross country team is in full stride even as the season remains in flux. Coach Bill Reeves has three workouts a week on Zoom where they do push ups and core work. He sends the team workout instructions and then runners record their runs on the app Strava, which tracks mileage.

“The CIF sports medicine advisory committee believes that students need to have a pre-participation physical examination now more than ever, ” Mr. Wigod’s statement read. However, because some athletes may have difficulty getting examinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CIF is offering a 30-day waiver to obtain a participation examination.











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