EL CENTRO — With the closing of schools during mid-year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student athletes, coaches, and the community have been left wondering if there will even be high school football this fall. After an interview with Central Spartans head football Coach David Pena, the hazy game plan for prep sports soon, is beginning to clear up.
“Up until the COVID-19 stay at home orders, we (CUHS football team) were in our winter conditioning mode,” said Pena.
The Spartans normally commence spring football by May 1. Since the day students were called out of school, winter conditioning was interrupted.
“Our kids have had to transitioned to distance learning, which has afforded me the opportunity to continue to meet with our players and team through Zoom meetings,” said Pena. “I have workouts posted up for the kids online so they can have an exercise routine to do at home that requires very minimal weight-lifting equipment. With the parks having been shut down, it has been hard for the kids to even go out for a run. We have had a few issues battling certain challenges but for the most part, the kids have been doing a good job at doing what they can do with the pandemic situation we are currently coping with.”
Per Pena, some student athletes have gone running out in the country and have been reverting to more old-school style workouts like push-ups and sit-ups.
“We’ve been interacting via Zoom on Saturdays where I’ve been able to update the kids on what is going on nationally with COVID-19 and how the team, staff, and season can potentially be impacted,” said Pena. “It’s important for us to keep our players up to date because the guys want to know if there will even be a season. We want to make sure that the kids are informed.”
Central Union Highschool checked out Chrome Book laptops to students who struggled with computer access to interact with staff and faculty.
“Having the chance to just see the kids via smart devices and through social distancing is not the ideal situation, but we’re making the best out of adjusting to the new norm,” said Pena.
According to CIF representatives from the San Diego Section, three scenarios are being discussed which gives coaches the opportunity to align their guys and update information on what is being considered for the 2020 season.
Scenario 1: The perfect situation would be to carry on as normal and keep the 10-game schedule.
Scenario 2: Games would not start until after September 1 due to teams potentially not reporting until August 1, which would cut the game schedule down to eight or nine games with playoffs. At this point, discussions have been to possibly do away with the state championship but keep the regional CIF Section title games.
Scenario 3: Games would not star until October 1, which would significantly shorten the season due to not being able to report for football until September 1.
“So, we are just going to wait and see and then take it from there. Right now, we are operating as if we will get our 10 games in. We will assume 10 games until we get more information from our commissioner and then adjust accordingly.”