A Southern California club football league at the center of discussion among high school coaches and administrators plans to begin later this month in Bullhead City, Ariz., organizer Jordan Campbell of Winner Circle Athletics in Corona said Saturday, Dec. 19.
Campbell, who owns the Winner Circle Athletics’ training and wellness center, said the league’s Elite 10 will play a showcase Dec. 28-29 and continue with games Jan. 8, Jan. 22 and Feb. 15. Most dates pair 10 teams in five games.
The league’s plans arrive as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently released guidelines that will allow high school and youth sports to begin competition as early as Jan. 25, if they can meet certain health conditions.
The CDPH announced on Dec. 14 that football, for example, can be played in a county that has cleared regional, stay-at-home orders and has reached the orange tier (moderate risk) in the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system. Nearly all of the 58 counties in the state are in the purple tier (widespread risk) as cases have spiked in recent weeks.
The updated guidelines have cast doubt about whether the high school football season can be played, especially in hard-hit Southern California.
High school football is a fall sport that was scheduled to start Jan. 7 and could be played as late as April 17, CIF Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod said.
The CIF State has canceled its regional and state playoffs to allow as much time as possible to schedule games. The Southern Section has indicated it could make a similar move.
State executive director Ron Nocetti also has said that the federation will advocate for football and others sports in the orange and yellow tiers to placed in tiers that will allow competition sooner.
Moving football to the spring season, officials say, isn’t a viable option because of safety reasons related to the proximity to the fall of ’21 season.
Youth sports teams from Southern California began traveling to Arizona and other places to compete after California prohibited competition on Aug. 3. High school and youth sports were limited to physical conditioning and skill development in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
The rise of club football has been a new trend for high schools, raising questions about rules and participation. Because of the pandemic, CIF State adjusted its rules for this school year to allow athletes to compete in club sports at the same time as high school athletics.
Mater Dei High football coach Bruce Rollinson recently said that he will encourage his players to hold off playing club and to wait for the high school season.
“What I tell them is ‘Hold tight fellas. Lets stay together because I truly believe there is going to be a season,’ ” Rollinson said. “Our preference is to play CIF football. … If a parent wants to meet with me (about club), and decide, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Ultimately, the parent is the provider. The parent ultimately makes the decision.”
Rollinson said the subject of forming a Mater Dei club team if the high school season were canceled has come up but those discussions have been preliminary.
“I’d look into it in a heartbeat if it got my team on the field but I think there will be other solutions to get us on the field of play,” he said. “I just say my prayers every night that they get to play together and we have a season.”
Campbell, who played at Norco High before moving on to USC and the NFL, has advice for players whose high school coaches ask them not to play the club league. “Listen to your high school coach and keep your high school program first,” he said.
Read more about SoCal club football league organized by Winner Circle Athletics aims to play in Arizona starting Dec. 28 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. SaddleBack Valley Shredding Service
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