All Cal High sports are back in action


File photo by Ben Olson

New district guidelines for athletes and coaches now require only members of indoor sports, such as the girls volleyball team, to provide proof of vaccination or submit to twice-weekly COVID 19 tests. The district initially indicated that all athletes must follow these guidelines.

Pranav Sannaasi, Staff Writer

It had been more than a full year since all high school sports were back in action. 

But as of April 6, all sports, indoor and outdoor, have the greenlight to begin practices and games.

There were a few issues that needed to be sorted out for all seasons to start. The first was a set of rules to deal with the COVID concerns. Based on the sport the protocols varied, but all sports are following similar policies to keep players safe by requiring them to wear masks and stay socially distanced.

“We are also following the protocol set by the county and the district,” head soccer coach Jose Mena said.

The North Coast Section, which includes Cal High and other East Bay Athletic League schools, is following the protocols set by the California Department of Public Health, which states that face coverings should be worn by players when not playing, and coaches must wear face masks at all times. Additionally, people should be physically distanced by the standard six feet whenever possible. 

Student athletes playing indoor sports such as volleyball are required to  wear masks even while playing. Although students are not required to be tested or be vaccinated to play, both are highly recommended, especially for high contact sports such as basketball and soccer.

Should a player contract COVID-19, the district has a set policy that involves quarantining and contact tracing.

Baseball head coach Dan Ward said that if a player were to get COVID he would be quarantined for 10 days and need to get a negative COVID test before being allowed to return to the field. 

“If it was positive, [everyone else] would have to do contact tracing,” Ward said. “Anyone who was within six feet of him for more than 15 minutes would have to be quarantined and tested.”

For all sports, students that test positive for COVID-19 must sit out until the test comes back negative. Other members of the team must be tested to make sure they do not have COVID as well. The protocols are to ensure player safety and to prevent seasons from having to be cancelled.

Many players seem comfortable with the safety protocols.

“I think we found a way to make it safe and also make it so we have a season and have fun,” sophomore baseball player Aidan Camberg said.

Even with the protocols in place, some student-athletes have opted out of playing, while some multi-sport athletes, such a senior water polo player Jude Lee,  have decided to play only one sport. Lee used to play two sports during the school year.

“I was worried that being on multiple teams would cause too much exposure to too many people,” Lee said, “but I never was going to sit out of sports all together.”

For seniors, even though the season has been highly compressed into the last five months of the school year, many were eager to get back to playing for their last season, no matter what that season looks like.

“I was out last year with an injury,” senior softball player Riley Stiner said. “[I] just wanted to play for my senior season and didn’t care what I had to do to make it happen.”

Because of the current COVID situation, the NCS and many other sections in Northern Californian decided to cancel the postseason for all sports. The Central Coast Conference was the only Northern California section to include postseason competition this year. Southern California sections also decided to move forward with postseason play.