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Valley sports hope to play during the modified 2021 spring season

All Monarch athletic teams plan to compete during an altered competition schedule.

By Gene Wickham, Staff Writer

The Monarch Football team made it to the end of their 2019 fall season. But now they and other athletic teams are facing an altered all-in-one spring season in 2021. (Photo by Gene Wickham/The Valley Star)

Following the recommendation of the California Community College Athletic Association, Valley College plans to move all its sports, including football, water polo, basketball and women’s soccer, into the spring 2021 semester.

An early contingency schedule from the sports organization projects basketball, football, water polo and soccer to begin on Jan. 18, and baseball, softball and swimming to start on March 27. Valley President Barry Gribbons confirmed sports will continue next semester.

“At the moment, the plan is to have the fall sports have competition in the spring,” Gribbons said. “but have a shortened time period that they’re competing, and have the spring sports remain in the spring as well.”

Last spring, March 9, 2020, sports were suspended by the athletic association. The immediate lockdown in March affected the conclusion of the winter sports and the start of spring athletics.

“In March, our women's basketball team just finished their season,” said Athletic Director Jim Fenwick. “Our men's basketball team was literally driving to the state tournament and had to turn around because the state tournament was canceled, along with all other sports, by the CCCAA due to the COVID-19 virus.”

“Baseball was 8-12 at the time, just beginning their conference season and softball was 7-12 just starting their conference season,” Fenwick recalled where teams were in their seasons when the lockdown occurred. “Both the men’s and women's swim team were just beginning their swim meets.”

When asked about how the athletes are currently complying with COVID and training restrictions, Fenwick used the CCCAA mandate to support Valley’s current adherence.

“Currently, all of our sports are following the school district and LA County guidelines of remote classes only. Students are not allowed to use facilities on our campus at this time,” he said. “Our coaches are Zoom meeting with student athletes on strategies and workouts. They are not allowed to come on campus.”

The CCCAA has a "Working Group" that evaluates the state health standards to follow the spring situation. There will be updates coming regarding athletics in the spring semester.

“It still may change as we gather more information on the health standards by the state and the schools getting closer to get back on campus. We will know more in October,” Fenwick added. “Meanwhile, all teams and student athletes are training remotely with Zoom meetings and workouts within their own capacity.”

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