The eyes of everyone related with highschool sports activities in Solano County have been on one quantity this week — what number of COVID circumstances per 100,000 residents.
Final week that quantity was 15.5, too excessive to satisfy the usual of 14 or underneath set by the state Division of Public Well being to ensure that highschool soccer and different out of doors sports activities to be performed.
However on Tuesday, Jayleen Richards, public well being administrator for the Solano County Public Well being Division, advised The Reporter, “The state reported a 12.three fee at this time for the time interval from February 7 to February 13. The case fee declined additional within the final week.”
That was trigger for jubilation all through the native highschool sports activities group, because it gave the inexperienced mild for soccer, soccer, baseball, softball, water polo and lacrosse to get observe going for the primary time in almost 12 months. Lots of these sports activities have been conditioning on campus however the brand new fee permits these actions to observe with a path towards precise competitors.
Vacaville Excessive head soccer coach Mike Papadopolous, who can be one of many faculty’s athletic administrators, stated, “We’re very excited for our student-athletes in these sports activities. They’ve been very diligent and have stayed the course ready for the chance to play.”
Matthew Bidou, athletic director at Vanden Excessive, stated, “Our student-athletes have hung in there and conditioned month after month with seasons unsure, however they believed if it was meant to be it will be. The coaches have been on the entrance line, conditioning 4 days per week by means of all of this. They too are heroes. It’s a lot greater than the student-athletes enjoying in competitors. For some it’s motivation to do higher academically, and if it takes sports activities for that to occur I’m supportive and okay with it.”
Donna Hagans, athletic director at Vacaville Christian Excessive, stated, “I believe that is nice information for our student-athletes and our whole group. I do know VCS and our whole Vacaville group can do what we have to do to guard our youngsters and households by means of following the required tips of COVID security whereas attending sporting occasions. So to lastly be able to show it’s lengthy overdue. Our student-athletes and households want sports activities. It’s a life drive inside our colleges and higher group.”
Some low-contact, out of doors sports activities have already begun in California. Cross nation, women tennis and boys golf all received underway final week within the Monticello Empire League.
The brand new case fee quantity is very essential for the soccer season, which highschool officers say needed to get a season in by April 17 for subsequent 12 months to start out on time. Now that may occur. with the MEL season scheduled to start on Friday, March 19.
Vacaville will host Fairfield that day, whereas Will C. Wooden will play at Vanden. The Black and Blue Bowl between rivals Vacaville and Wooden will probably be performed at Vacaville Excessive on Friday, April 16.
Joan Mumaugh, commissioner of the Monticello Empire League, stated, “The MEL is transferring ahead with preparations for soccer and different out of doors sports activities. Testing for soccer and water polo remains to be a serious new requirement, however every of our colleges is working with their District workplace to unravel the issue. We’re nonetheless hopeful that we are going to get most if not all of our sports activities performed this 12 months.”
Soccer gamers, in addition to athletes who play rugby or water polo, will probably be required to be examined weekly if their residence county has a case fee above 7/100Ok. That’s as a result of these sports activities are “more likely to be performed unmasked, with shut, face-to-face contact exceeding 15 minutes,” stated the CDPH. Whereas CDPH would require athletes to put on masks when potential, it stated it will not lengthen the mandate past cause throughout competitors.
Different sports activities outlined as average contact, resembling baseball, softball and cheerleading, is not going to be topic to the testing requirement however it was really useful for athletes in all sports activities.
Gov. Gavin Newsom stated the state can pay for the testing in a latest report.
Stu Clary, Vacaville Excessive head baseball coach and one of many faculty’s athletic administrators, summed up the emotions of all who’ve been ready for the return of highschool sports activities.
“Most significantly it’s a step towards normality,” Clary stated. “It’s been a extremely bizarre 12 months, and possibly it’s an indication that issues might be returning to regular.”