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Summer conditioning suspended
• Spike in COVID cases prompts schedule change
sports generic art

Athletes from all of Stanislaus County’s public high schools, including Ceres High and Central Valley, received disheartening news on Monday.

Conditioning workouts for fall sports have been suspended until further notice.

Extracurricular activities, including athletics, have also been suspended until further notice.

Those determinations, along with delaying the return of students to school classrooms for the 2020-21 academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, were made by Stanislaus County Public Health Officer Julie Vaishampayan on Monday morning after she met with school district superintendents throughout the county.

Dr. Vaishampayan provided an update on the coronavirus and recent community spread and determined the guidelines for K-12 education moving forward.

“We shut it down last week,” said Derrick Goblirsch, first-year head coach of Central Valley’s football program. “It seemed like the right thing to do. We don’t even know if we’re going to have a season. It didn’t make sense to practice because it’s not safe with all the new (COVID-19) cases going around.”

“It’s a huge blow to what we were trying to accomplish,” said Ceres High Athletic Director John Bussard, whose school’s sports programs completed their fourth week of summer conditioning last week. “Our numbers were fantastic. It was great seeing our coaches reconnect with kids on campus.”

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 coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m going to wait to reserve judgement until then,” Bussard said. “If you’re asking my opinion, it’s not going to start on time.”

The first official practice date for Central Valley, Ceres High and other football teams from the Sac-Joaquin Section is July 27.

The remaining fall sports, including cross country, water polo, girls golf, girls tennis and girls volleyball, are supposed to start practicing on Aug. 3.

“It’s tough to remain optimistic seeing the numbers grow,” Goblirsch said. “I hope we get to play even if it’s a couple games. The seniors have worked too hard to lose their season.”

“If we get to play, it’s a blessing,” Hawks’ football player Isaiah Hidalgo stated. “If we don’t get to play, we’ll be devastated. It’s our senior year.”