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Spring football begins for some high schools bringing controversy

The governing body of California high school athletics allowed districts to decide when athletics can resume. While some were given the green to return now, rival schools in different counties, are growing frustrated still on the sidelines.

Posted: May 28, 2020 8:15 AM
Updated: May 28, 2020 8:54 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The coronavirus put high school sports on the sidelines and unsure when its return will come.

Some high schools found a way back just in time for spring football, while others are still unable to return.

The California Interscholastic Federation has allowed individual school districts to make the call on resuming athletics throughout its schools.
High schools like Gridley and Wheatland started spring football with more on the way. East Nicolaus announced its spring program will begin June 8.

Yet opponents in their same division who haven't been given the green light, like West Valley High School, are growing in frustration.

Longtime Eagles Head Coach Greg Grandell says, "I do not want someone to come in and stop Gridley, Wheatland, and Sutter from lifting weights. I just want to join them."

Grandell joins a list of other coaches worried about their players and the physical preparation they're missing out on by staying at home.

"We need to, you know, get our guys prepared physically for a contact sport," said Grandell.

CIF Northern Section Commissioner Elizabeth Kyle says, "Our state constitution requires every athlete to participate in ten days of practice prior to participating in a game, but that is for health and safety reasons."

For a sport like football, Grandell urges decision-makers to re-think the necessary timeline to get player reacclimated since most schools can't start at the same time.

"It is pure stupidity if we think with no time lifting weights that we're going to start a season in August and not have a ton of injuries if we don't let these kids get ready. We've had a plan for a month ready to go when they'll let us go and it's really frustrating," said Grandell.

But not even the commissioner can make it happen on her own.

Kyle says, "in the end, it's the principals and superintendent of that school district that decides when students are returning to school, and when students are returning to sports."

Despite the head start, other schools are receiving, Grandell's program remains on the sidelines.

"We're hoping to get going here. I'd love to get started here, but I've been kind of asked by my administration to settle down and wait and that's really hard for me to do."

Grandell noted three things over to Action News Now over the phone.

Lower coronavirus cases throughout the region, low death rate in teens, and the re-opening of close contact businesses in the Redding area.

All are reasons why he believes hi Eagles, and schools under similar circumstances should get to take action.

Kyle says sports like tennis and golf may have a chance to fully return on an earlier timeline.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 546814

Reported Deaths: 10133
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2042584919
Riverside40452799
Orange38754704
San Bernardino34939497
San Diego31127583
Kern22009160
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
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Marin525778
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Merced485562
Kings445356
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Sonoma335844
Madera226736
Placer209920
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Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12294
Butte10608
Napa104610
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6380
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
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Colusa3624
Glenn3603
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Tehama2711
Lake2202
Amador1620
Mono1531
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After a couple days of comfortably cooler than average weather around northern California, highs rose rapidly to more seasonable levels this afternoon. The warming trend will continue through the weekend, too.
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