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CIF decision looming
Amare Padilla
Ceres High’s Amare Padilla and other athletes from Stanislaus County will find out if they’ll get to play sports this fall on July 20. The season could be delayed or canceled due to COVID-19.

The California Interscholastic Federation will decide on July 20 if fall sports will continue as currently scheduled or if adjustments will be made due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The CIF governs high school athletics in the state.

“I’m nervous because things aren’t looking really good,” said Isaiah Hidalgo, a standout senior running back on Central Valley’s football team. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. Hopefully, we get the greenlight to play.”

“It’s definitely nerve racking especially now that the day is getting closer and closer,” Ceres High senior all-purpose standout football player Amare Padilla stated. “It’s something we try not to talk about. It’s like an elephant in the room. We can’t ignore it. We’re trying to stay positive. We’re just hanging onto hope right now.”

Returning and prospective fall athletes from Ceres High and Central Valley were granted permission to begin summer conditioning workouts on June 15 with COVID-19 restrictions.

“Everybody is bummed out with how limited we are,” Padilla said. “We can’t even touch a ball or do the drills we want to do. I’m still happy to be out here. We’ve been getting to know the new coaches.”

The fall sports lineup normally consists of football, cross country, water polo, girls golf, girls tennis and girls volleyball.

The CIF’s 201 member schools compete in 26 different leagues.

“I’ve been playing football since I was a kid,” Padilla said. “My mom and family have been waiting for my senior year. It would be heartbreaking if the season gets canceled.”

“I wish they had an option where you could sign a contract stating, if you play sports this year, there’s a high risk of getting coronavirus,” Hidalgo added. “I’d sign that in a heartbeat. A lot of seniors feel the same way. We just want to play.”