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CYSO could cancel season for second year in a row
soccer cannot play
The soccer complex at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park might not be open for use this fall due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Ceres Youth Soccer Organization might not have a recreational season for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s nothing we can do,” said Lou Toste, longtime president of CYSO. “Everything is on hold. We’re waiting for the state, county and city to let us know when the kids can play.”

CYSO’s 2021 campaign is supposed to kick off during the third week of August. But the start of the season hinges on how prevalent COVID-19 is this fall.

“We’re optimistic kids will have sports and activities again soon,” said Matt Lohr, recreation manager for the city of Ceres. “It’s a work in progress.”

CYSO will hold online registration in April if permitted and purchase uniforms soon after.

About 900 boys and girls, aged 4-16, signed up to play soccer in Ceres in 2019 according to Toste.

“I’m hoping we get to play this year,” Toste said. “The kids want to play not just soccer but football and baseball.”

Soccer games are played on Saturdays at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.

The complex has a total of nine fields.

If CYSO stages a season this year, coronavirus safety guidelines recommended by state and local health officials will be followed.

“Our goal is to keep the kids, families and everybody safe. I wouldn’t want to see any kid get COVID because they played soccer.”
Lou Toste

“We’ll be prepared,” Toste said. “Our goal is to keep the kids, families and everybody safe. I wouldn’t want to see any kid get COVID because they played soccer.”

CYSO was forced to cancel its recreational season for the first time in its 38-year history last fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sports across the state of California have been put on hold to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidelines on Dec. 14 for youth and high school sports.

Youth and prep sports are classified by their level of contact and transmission risk. This classification applies to competition or training/practice with others. It does not apply to individual conditioning or exercise.

CDPH’s guidelines include allowable competitions under the state’s color-tiered reopening plan. Most counties in California, including Stanislaus, remain in the most-restrictive purple tier. 

Only low-contact, outdoor sports such as cross country, golf, swim, tennis and track and field are currently being permitted as regional stay-at-home orders were lifted by Governor Newsom on Jan. 25.

Outdoor moderate-contact sports baseball, softball and cheer fall under the red tier.

Popular outdoor high-contact sports such as football, soccer and water polo, along with indoor low-contact sports like volleyball, fall under the orange tier. 

Indoor moderate- and high-contact sports — basketball, wrestling, martial arts — are in the yellow tier.  

Under CDPH’s current guidelines, high-contact sports like football and basketball appear to be long shots to take place this academic school year.

The California Interscholastic Federation has been lobbying for CDPH to relax its guidelines and allow all sports in the purple and red tiers.  “CYSO could have games again if we’re in the orange tier,” Lohr said. “But they’d have to wear masks and there would be no spectators. We’ll work with our youth organizations to make sure they follow state and federal guidelines.”