School’s back in session, with the first day of classes on Thursday, Aug. 6. Students are hunkered down in front of their Chromebook computers at home, while their teachers lead their lessons from classrooms on campus.
Students are missing from the normal hustle and bustle of the Riverbank High School campus (and other schools across town), but another element is missing this year as well. High school sports for fall are on hold, so practice fields, stadiums and courts are empty as well.
Practice for fall sports normally begins a few weeks before classes begin, but the COVID outbreak has forced a postponement until early next year.
Fall Schedule Moved
During the registration process at the high school a few weeks ago, potential athletes received an instruction packet telling them the state of sports in the Trans-Valley League and here at RHS.
The fall sports are being pushed back until January, with early practices beginning the first week of December.
Those sports include football, with Anthony Buich returning as varsity head coach, and cross country with Monte Wood as head coach, both beginning Dec. 7.
In a major departure from years past, both boys and girls volleyball can start practicing on Dec. 14, with both coached by John Bartlett.
Cheerleading also begins the first week of December, but has not been assigned a coach yet.
Winter, Spring Schedules Overlapped
Practices for winter/spring sports can begin on Feb. 22.
Varsity boys soccer will be coached again by Juan Harvey, with the girls team unassigned at this point. Co-ed tennis will be coached again by Bruce Edwards and wrestling by John Bartlett.
Boys basketball varsity coach Jeff Jennings returns, as does varsity girls coach Janelle Luu.
Spring sport practices begin in March 2021.
Varsity baseball is currently unassigned but can practice starting on March 8, as can softball, coached by Cassi Ross.
Both boys and girls golf will be coached by Ismael Mercado, with both beginning practice on March 15.
Coach Wood’s co-ed track and field squad begins practice on March 15, as well.
A difficulty these schedules will create comes for athletes that compete in multiple sports. Especially winter and spring sports, being so close together, might see some players facing overlapping games and practices.
Another bit of a wrinkle in the process is in how athletes will be submitting their physicals, prior to turn out for a sport, this year.
The sports packet received in the startup process describes the changes in how the physicals will be submitted. The packet included the necessary form to be taken to and filled out by the student’s physician, clearing him or her for participation “without restriction.”
The form also includes a full page of step-by-step instructions in how to register the document with SportsNet.