SELMA — Both Selma and Kingsburg high schools have stopped holding group athletic practice sessions until Jan. 3 due to the COVID pandemic.
“Due to the continued surge of COVID-19 infections, the California Department of Public health has postponed the issuance of its updated youth sports guidance,” read a press release from the California Interscholastic Federation State office.
Since they don’t expect an announcement from the state public health department until the first of the new year, they put a hold on any team practices until the state announcement is made.
Selma made the decision at the time of the CIF announcement on Dec. 1 while Kingsburg made the announcement via an email to coaches on Sunday.
This decision virtually eliminates the volleyball and water polo openers for Dec. 29 and 31. It wipes out Selma’s Dec. 31 football scrimmage with Golden West of Visalia. The 11 a.m. scrimmage would have been the first athletic event in Selma’s refurbished Staley Stadium. On the schedules listed on Max Preps and Scorebook Live, Selma is no longer listing any December or January events.
With help from Clovis West athletic director Matt Burrows, Kingsburg High School's athletic director Scott Hodges came up with this summary and clarification of the Dec. 1 CIF statement.
“First, there have been no cancellations of CIF high school sports,” wrote Hodges. “Next, the start of the season for the season one (football, cross country, water polo and volleyball has been delayed until an expected announcement is made in early January.”
Selma High Athletic Director Randy Esraelian has made the decision to cancel all sporting contests in December and January, allowing for three weeks of practice before the season begins.
The regional and state championship playoffs for football, cross-country, water polo and volleyball have been canceled for this year. The plan for season one central section playoffs will be given in mid January.
There has been no update regarding season two and season three sports (all other sports) for this year we should plan on those sports being played.
“Athletic administrators around the valley and State were anxiously waiting for guidance on the status of fall sports. As expected being in the most restrictive purple tier there was no chance of starting practice on December 7,” Esraelian said.
“Selma High School Athletics truly misses our student athletes that made our community so proud, and I can’t thank each of them as well as our coaching staff of each program. There is a lot to be excited about when we return to campus! As one of our newest murals says, Better Together; Bear Nation will return with a lot of passion and pride," Esraelian said.