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Seahawks will not play football this year due to COVID
Junior Schaefer
The Trans Valley Youth Football League canceled the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 18 football programs will be impacted by the decision, including the Ceres Seahawks. Pictured: Longtime Seahawks coach Junior Schaefer at a 2019 practice. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Ceres Seahawks Youth Football & Cheer Organization President Willie Solorio talked about the possibility of not having a season this fall on Sunday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What Solorio was dreading became a reality Monday evening when he received an email from the Trans Valley Youth Football League.

 “The TVL executive board made the decision without direction from the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation),” he said. “At least we know the kids won’t be put at risk.”

“I wasn’t surprised especially with the second closures and the numbers peaking (in California),” Solorio added. “I was bummed. I would have liked to have a season to keep the kids active. It’s sad because they’re not going to have anything to do.”

Just 30 football players had registered to play for the Seahawks in 2020.

“A lot of parents were on the fence,” Solorio said. “They didn’t know what to do.”

The organization was planning on holding signups on July 12, 19 and 26 to boost its enrollment figures.

Each player would have been required to have a guardian sign a COVID-19 waiver to participate.

The cheer season had already been canceled.

“For the month of July, we bought a basic insurance plan to keep the organization afloat. We’ll start the process of giving refunds and vouchers.”
Willie Solorio

“For the month of July, we bought a basic insurance plan to keep the organization afloat,” Solorio said. “We’ll start the process of giving refunds and vouchers.”

The start date for the 2020 campaign was moved from July 20 to Aug. 17 prior to cancellation.

“We made arrangements to follow all COVID guidelines,” Solorio said. “We went from a 10-game season to an eight-game season. We went from two rounds of playoffs to one round. We were prepared to play if they gave us the greenlight.”

The Seahawks would have competed in the TVYFL for the second year in a row.

The league has 18 teams, including the Seahawks, Central Saints, Modesto Rams, Patterson Ravens, Tri-City Bulldogs, Turlock Hornets, Ripon Knights, MC Kingsmen, Hughson Oilers, Westside Niners, Denair Lions, Mariposa Bears, Big Valley Sabres, Gustine Redskins, Hilmar Packers, Central Valley Outlaws, Los Banos Wildcats and Merced Wolverines.

Founded in 2007, the Seahawks had to cancel their 14th season out of public safety concerns related to the coronavirus.

“It’s not just football,” Solorio said. “Soccer and baseball have been canceled. We’ll definitely be back in 2021. The kids will be eager to play.”