CHICO, Calif. - A big step forward for the return to school sports.
Students have been off the field for months, but starting Monday, that could all change.
The Northern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced Wednesday a plan that could bring student athletes back to competing.
John Shepherd from the Chico Unified School District says it brings a sense of normalcy to students.
“I think it's a focus on hope,” he said. “It's not just a long-term focus on hope, it's also a short term. Like, ‘Hey, I'm going to get out of bed today and do my homework because I want to be eligible to compete. I'm going to be excited about going to my AM session and seeing my peers knowing that after that I'm going to get to continue those relationships out on the playing field.’"
As long as the California Department of Public Health authorizes it, athletes will slowly start to return to the field.
Since Butte County is in the purple tier, sports like golf, track and field and tennis are allowed to start competition.
This news brought has many student athletes something to look forward to.
"It's really exciting because I'll be going into chico high as a freshman next year and so it's looking like we'll have a full team back next year which is exciting,” student athlete Jonah Watts said. “I think it's nice especially because I think they've come up with a system to keep everyone safe and still play basketball and other sports."
Jonah is just one of many athletes affected by this decision and he can't wait to do the one thing he has been looking forward to when he gets back on the court.
He beamed, "Probably try and dunk even though I can't because I haven't been able to be on a nice court in forever so I haven't had that experience."
No matter what tier the school’s county is in, conditioning and skill building can resume outdoors.