Junior college athletics delayed until next year

Community colleges are making moves for sports to potentially return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 10:35 PM
Updated: Jul 14, 2020 8:30 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. -- The governing body for athletics at junior colleges in our area made a decision on what to do for fall sports.

Of three return options for the California Community College Athletic Association, the board ultimately decided on the contingency plan.

A plan which means fall sports for schools like Shasta College and Butte College, is still alive, but delayed.

“That was handed out to each college. We didn't get to select which plan we were going to play. The contingency plan has no fall sports actually occurring in the fall, but they deemed that right now it's just not safe so everything's been pushed to the spring,” said Shasta College Athletic Director Mike Mari.

The contingency plan also means there will be no state championships.

“We're disappointed that we had to change and move our fall sports to the spring, but the number one thing that we're concerned with is the safety of our athletes, the safety of our staff, and that's what we've got to be concerned about,” said Butte College Athletic Director Craig Rigsbee.

It's a delay giving 110 California community colleges some much needed time to prepare as schedule conflicts may arise.

“They will overlap quite a bit, and so now we're going to put together the schedules,” said Rigsbee.

He added, “…and then, of course, we're going to have to put together all of the protocols about the game, the game workers, the game personnel, the fields, the space, the travel.”

Both Butte and Shasta might see these changes affect not only the teams, but the communities too.

“There's a lot of things that we've talked about, but we're not there yet with the fan protocol and with fans to the game. That's kind of on the back burner. We don't worry about fans if we can't have the sport,” said Rigsbee.

Something that would be devastating for people like Keishaun Creel who's spent the last two years with the roadrunner's football team.

“It gives people a chance to get an education. Especially for people like me. I don't come from a high-income family, and out of high school I wasn't heavily recruited, so this is the perfect chance for you to put your name on the map and continue going to school,” said Creel.

“Without football, I probably would not be in school,” he added.

It may be a while before the pigskin can finally be thrown out on the field, but the overall sentiment is better late than never.

Athletic Directors from both Shasta and Butte College say any plans for sports to return run through each school's President and Board of Trustees.

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Although temperatures began to rise today around northern California, our weather was still quite pleasant for early August. Enjoy the below-average highs will we have them, because hotter weather will return soon.
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