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After Long Break, Some RHS Sports Begin Practices
Not all ‘dribbling’ is related to basketball, it turns out. The Bruin co-ed tennis team began serious practices last week as more players turned out for Coach Bruce Edwards. Their sessions usually start with a couple of spins around the three courts, dribbling their tennis balls, either up in the air, or off the ground. After several circuits of these strengthening exercises, work begins on serving and volleying techniques, along with footwork drills. Ric McGinnis/The News

After a hiatus of nearly a year, sports competition has returned to the Riverbank High School campus.

“We started three purple tier sports this week. Cross country, co-ed tennis, and both boys and girls golf,” according to RHS Athletic Director John Bartlett, commenting last Friday.

He said the seasons will be about six weeks long.

“Baseball and softball are red tier sports scheduled to begin March 1 if we can get out of the purple tier. We are still finalizing a couple of the schedules,” Bartlett said.

“We have formed a ‘COVID’ league combining three Trans-Valley League schools with four Southern League schools. That lineup includes Riverbank, Hughson, Modesto Christian, Orestimba, Denair, Waterford, and Mariposa,” he added.

They’re expecting to be starting competitions in the next couple of weeks.


Cross Country and Golf

Cross country is normally a fall sport, along with boys golf, so they got to play in their 2019-20 season. The co-ed tennis team and girls golf both are spring sports, having just begun in March 2020, when the COVID pandemic closed down schools.

This year, according to girls coach Ismael Mercado, both golf teams will be practicing on the Escalon Golf Course. However, the boys will be playing their matches on an 18-hole course again this season, while the girls, as in the past, play their matches on the nine holes in Escalon.


Tennis Returns

The co-ed tennis team began its workouts last week with rudimentary drills and concentration on serving and volleying techniques.

Coach Bruce Edwards said he was given a schedule for 10 matches and told that “we could not schedule any other matches.” He also said that the ADs (Athletic Directors) thought Saturdays were out for matches but will ask the higher ups.


Football Prospects

The potential of being able to squeeze in a football season this year seems unlikely because of time constraints.

The state controlling institution, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), has determined that football play must be completed by the middle of April. And, since it’s a full-contact sport, it can only be played after a county’s schools are in the orange tier, next to the bottom of the list, with less restrictive rules than purple or red tier counties.

So, even if it were allowed to begin on March 1, a potential series of four games might just barely be squeezed in, since football requires two weeks of conditioning before serious workouts can start.