Sports Season Speculation is in the Air

Gabriel Heater, Sports Editor

Despite the sudden cancelation of high school spring sports in mid-march LAUSD remains optimistic for the 2020-2021 school year. As long as covid-19 cases continue to decrease in Los Angeles as they are now and sports follow new regulation guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus there is a likely possibility that sports would be able to continue next semester. 


What do we know so far?


On October 14, 2020, Rancho Athletics held a meeting, discussing the released information on what CIF and LAUSD Athletics plan for highschool athletics. Although student athletics is still up in the air, the LAUSD and CIF athletics have taken an optimistic approach in laying out the foundations for the possibilities in an upcoming sports season

Despite that LAUSD and CIF athletics have not yet released the new guidelines, CIF has essentially split LAUSD athletics into two seasons and released the expected date for individual sports. It is confirmed that Boys and Girls X/C, Football, Boys and Girls Volleyball are expected to begin from December-March. Boys and Girls Soccer, Boys, and Girls Tennis are planned to start from February-May and Boys and Girls Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Boys and Girls Swim, Boys and Girls Track are expected to start from March-June. Though these dates have been released there are still subject to change as we progress through the school year.

For right now athletic conditioning has not been set, however, LAUSD has released guidelines for the possibility that school campuses may be open for school athletics as soon as November. Dwayne Tatnall, one of the athletic directors and P.E teachers present during the athletics meeting goes into depth on the regulations for conditioning in November.

“For what we know so far conditioning will be done in pods of no more than ten and COVID-19 tests will be required before coming on campus for conditioning,” Tatnall mentioned.  Masks will also be required and athletes will not be able to hang around campus before or after workouts. If for whatever reason guidelines are not followed, students will not be allowed to continue participating in workouts.” 

Since sports and athletics, in general, are seen as high-risk activities when it comes to contracting the virus regulations for conditioning must be put in place. If the guidelines for conditioning are met and properly executed the risk of spreading COVID-19 would dramatically decrease as all student-athletes would have to be tested; the requirement of masks and the limited grouping of athletes will significantly reduce the infection rates. Although the guidelines have been released for conditioning, Rancho will hold a future meeting which will go further in-depth in the requirements of conditioning if it becomes possible.


What can we expect?


Although we are given the basic structure of conditioning guidelines LAUSD and CIF athletics have yet to release the regulations we would have to follow if athletics were to continue and meets, races, matches, and games were to commence. Regardless, Keri Lew, principal of Rancho Dominguez has some speculations on what we can expect from the athletic regulations that are yet to be released.

“LAUSD Athletics has not identified regulations that we will need to follow when athletics resume. Based on what we see in professional sports settings, we expect that regulations will follow social distancing protocols. I expect that there will be guidelines that include, but are not limited to: students who are not playing will need to wear masks and be socially distanced on the sidelines, students will need to bring their own water bottles, students will need to be socially distanced when traveling on buses. These are just some examples – RDP will await to learn of the guidelines set forth by LAUSD and we will follow them,”  Lew said.

If athletics were to continue we would expect to make several changes. Social distancing along with water distribution would have to be one of the major changes most likely the sidelines and benches would have to be spread out to meet the guidelines of social distancing. To add to social distancing we see a difference in the use of buses as there is a possibility that schools will have to order more busses in order to transport the athletes while remaining a safe distance from one another. Hydration is another factor that will most likely have guidelines for sharing the same water and will significantly increase the chances of contracting COVID-19 if an infected athlete were to accidentally contaminate the team’s supply of water. 

So far in RDPS athletics we have seen and expect several teams to consist only of a varsity squad due to there only being enough student-athletes to create a varsity team as JV football and girls JV soccer are yet again without a JV team. According to Ms. Lew, dropping JV sports is a regular occurrence and is not based on the pandemic and regulations of social distancing.

“We may drop JV teams if we do not have enough students signed up for that sport. This happens on a yearly basis – not just during the pandemic – as we evaluate the number of teams that we will have based on student interest,” Lew added. “For example, we have dropped JV Football and JV Girls Soccer in the past because we did not have enough students to field both a Varsity and JV team. If more people sign up for these sports, then we will re-evaluate to determine whether we have enough interested students to open JV teams again.”

According to Lew, this year’s athletic roster is purely based on the students’ interest and participation in the specific sports which will affect if a certain sport will have both a Varsity and JV team.  From what we know the popular sports which students are most interested in participating in such as Boys Soccer will have both a Varsity and JV team due to their abundance of players while sports such as Girls Soccer will be limited to only a Varsity team due to their limited roster.


What do student-athletes think?


Although we don’t entirely know what school athletics will look like if we have school athletics at all,  students like seniors, Ty Coleman, and Joshua Bojorquez look forward to the possibility of a sports season next semester.

“I definitely look forward to the new experiences as anything could happen in a season especially when you play baseball,” Coleman said. “Despite this being together in the dugout would be a weird experience as we would have to distance in a small place, but I believe that if we stay in a safe distance away from each other and wear our masks we could play like it was any other season and I believe it would be an exciting one.”

Despite the situation we are in Ty Coleman still has hope in resuming school athletics. Although major changes would have to be made he believes that we together can overcome this problem with a solution consisting of safety guidelines.

“I personally believe that opening sports for student-athletes is a good move, and I believe that this small change could lead to a push in opening schools and academics. If the plans for school athletes turn out to be a success, it would be a great starting point for the process of reopening schools as a whole,” Bojorquez mentions. “Sports were my personal outlet for stress and made the difficulties of lifeless noticeable. Sports are a big part of life, especially in high school. Opening sports would not only give students a reason to look forward to, but it will give us a reason to keep battling during these horrific times.”

On the other hand students such as senior Jeremy Gonzalez believes school athletics should continue. However, he would not participate in school athletics as he had in prior years.

“If we go back to school, then yes, I think they should reopen sports. People love to do what they enjoy and part of that would be in school athletics. Also, professional sports get to play; just without spectators. Knowing this I believe it would make sense to have sports open again and let people play. If the players are not trying to risk being infected, spectators can wear masks and follow regulations.” Gonzalez mentioned 

Sports are seen as one of the more memorable and cherished experiences in high school. Gonzalez believes that people should be able to do what they enjoy in high school, especially as a senior. Despite this Gonzalez has decided that he will not be involved in sports for his own personal reasons.

“The reason why I’m not doing any sports this year is that I’m not trying to do anything extra and will just stick with the marching band. In general, it just makes it easier for me so I don’t have to worry about several things at once, especially since I aspire to become a professional musician/artist in the future. I just simply wouldn’t have time to spend on school athletics, including the fact that I have so many things I need to do. Being involved in sports would just cause me more trouble and get in the way of what I need to do.” Gonzalez added.


Breaking News!


On November 2, Superintendent Beutner announced that Athletic Conditioning could begin on Monday, November 9. However, RDPS Athletics is still in-the-works of settling this date. As of right now, RDPS expects to begin conditioning as soon as enough coaches become available for team practices and the number of students signed up for school athletics. If you are planning to be involved in school athletics make sure you complete the requirements at

Speculation for an upcoming sports season is in the air. Although nothing is completely settled all we can do is keep our hopes high as the framework for school athletics has been set. Although as of early November  LAUSD had permitted athletic conditioning, we are still uncertain if LAUSD athletics would progress. Whether LAUSD and CIF athletics will approve of this; only time will tell.