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CCCAA approves plan to all shift junior college fall sports to spring

Shasta College head football coach Bryon Hamilton talks to his team after a home game at Memorial Stadium during the 2019 season. (Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)

All plans to see Shasta College athletics in the fall must be rescheduled.

The California Community College Athletic Association Board of Directors approved on Thursday the implementation of its Contingency Plan, announcing a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year that shifts all sports, including football, to the spring season.

“I’ve been talking to our coaches and staff, and everyone recognizes that this is the right decision moving forward,” said Shasta College athletic director Mike Mari in a news release. “Obviously, we were hopeful that a more conventional plan could have been possible, but the safety of our athletes and coaches is always our first consideration.”

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The CCCAA board in June approved three scenarios dependent on where California was on July 17 in terms of re-opening from the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Contingency Plan” was in place for California being in Phase 3 while the most ambitious plan was the “Conventional Plan” if the state was in Phase 4. The Board decided to fall back to the spring option earlier than its July 17 deadline based on a recommendation from the CCCAA’s COVID-19 Work Group, according to a news release.

Shasta College head football coach Bryon Hamilton said he was expecting fall sports to move to spring in light of the rise in positive cases throughout the state but thought the board would have waited until the decision date before announcing its intentions.

“I’m kind of blindsided by the timing of it. … I’ve had a chance to talk to my team, the guys were positive, they were OK (but) disappointed,” Hamilton said. “That being said, the safety of our players, staff and fans are paramount of importance to us so if this is the best course of action to make sure we’re all safe and we can play this year, then we’ll go ahead in February.”

Shasta College, which fields 17 sports programs with about 320 student-athletes, shifts football, cross-country, basketball, soccer, volleyball and wrestling until after the New Year with practices starting mid-January and competitions running Feb. 5 (Feb. 13 for football) to April 17. Baseball, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field will begin practice March 27 with competitions starting April 10.

A 30 percent reduction in the maximum number of contests is in place for all sports while regional postseason competitions will continue. However, the CCCAA state championships for 2020-21 are canceled.  Most notable reductions among the sports include: football dropping from 10 games to seven, basketball from 28 to 20, soccer from 22 to 15, volleyball from 24 to 17, and baseball and softball from 40 to 28.

“Whatever we can get we’ll take,” Hamilton said.

T.J. is a national-award winning journalist passionate about local news and telling the story no one else knows about. He’s roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010 and is a content producer from sunup to sundown. Sports are a hobby he shares with his wife Tracy where they’ve spent many dates around a field or court of some sort.

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