Most of the schools in the area have set the dates for their athletic programs to resume on-campus activities.
St. Joseph High started last week. Lompoc and Cabrillo are planning to start next week, on Sept. 8. Santa Ynez has set Sept. 14 as its date while the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District announced Tuesday that it will resume on Sept. 21.
Mission Prep was slated to restart this week.
Just look at the résumé: She earned All-Los Padres League honors all four years she played on varsity, being named to the Honorable Mention team as a freshman before landing on the First Team in her final three years, including the LPL Defensive MVP award in 2018 when she was a senior.
Meanwhile, Lucia Mar Unified, which includes Nipomo and Arroyo Grande high schools, is hoping to start next month, on Oct. 5.
So many different dates for all the different schools. What gives? Well, the various schools have varying goals, intentions and resources.
Nipomo and Arroyo Grande, hoping to start in October, feel it creates the perfect window, giving their student-athletes about three months to prepare for a season that should start in late December or early January. That's the standard amount of time to prepare for a normal fall season.
But is that October date too late? No. I think it's just fine. Did St. Joseph start too early? Nope. That's OK, too.
I know some parents and athletes are raring to get back into the game, but why rush? We know when the various seasons are scheduled to start. (The football season kicks off Jan. 7-8).
If I'm a Lucia Mar parent or athlete, I'm happy with an Oct. 5 date. You wouldn't want to start too early and then have to shut it down and hope you're able restart again. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe, especially in the era of COVID.
I wouldn't be surprised if there's more pressure on LMUSD to start a bit earlier, but I would stick with October.
But what about St. Joseph? Didn't the Knights start too soon then? Not necessarily. Again, St. Joseph is a private school with different needs and resources than large public schools. Seventy-five percent of SJHS students play at least one sport. Sports are vital to that school.
After waiting all of 2020 to get back in the ring for an actual professional bout Dato, cruised to victory in a lightweight match held in Rosarito, Mexico.
Also, being smaller, they can adapt more quickly, stop and start more efficiently. It shouldn't surprise anyone that St. Joe's is being more aggressive than other schools in resuming athletics.
I also like how the different schools have staggered their dates. Instead of everyone starting at once, it's more of a slow wave, with Lompoc and Cabrillo starting next week, Santa Ynez the week after that and Santa Maria schools the following week.
These ADs and coaches all talk to each other and are working together. Lompoc and Cabrillo will learn something and pass that along to Santa Ynez who can then pass something it learned to Santa Maria schools.
I'm just happy we have some concrete dates on the board and should have more student-athletes on the field. The area districts and their administrators have put together sound plans to resume athletics and bring back some normalcy.
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