Shasta College approved its tentative Early Spring athletic schedules Wednesday, signifying a step toward football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s cross country to have condensed seasons with contests beginning March 1.
The move aligns schools and programs on the calendar in preparation for junior college athletics in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Shasta College athletic director Mike Mari.
“We’re trying to develop the infrastructure to give Shasta College student-athletes the best opportunity we can to play while still providing a safe environment for operations to occur,” Mari said. “We already moved our weight room outside and if this doesn’t work out then hopefully we can practice and condition at some capacity as long as it’s outdoors.”
The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Board of Directors voted in July to adopt its Contingency Plan, shifting all 2020-21 sports to spring and splitting them into two seasons: Early Spring and Late Spring. In December, the CCCAA asked schools to opt-in or out for each specific sport and left it up to the conferences and schools to decide scheduling, Mari said.
Shasta College kept true to its Golden Valley Conference ties, keeping College of the Siskiyous, Feather River College and College of the Redwoods on its schedule as those schools also opted-in for Early Spring competitions. Butte College and Lassen College, which round out the GVC, opted-out of Early Spring competition.
The start dates and details for each Early Spring sport for Shasta College follow: (scroll to find tentative schedules for each sport).
- Football: 4-game schedule, home-and-home series with Siskiyous and Feather River (starts March 5)
- Men’s & Women’s Basketball: 12-game season, four games against Siskiyous, FRC and Redwoods (starts March 2)
- Volleyball: 8-match season, four matches each against FRC and Siskiyous (starts March 1)
- Men’s & Women’s Cross-country: 4-meet season (starts March 1)
- Soccer: Shasta College elected for no intercollegiate competition, practice only
Every school on the Shasta College schedule is located in a county in the purple tier (most restrictive) as of Thursday, according to California Department of Public Health. Junior colleges operate on the Guidance for Higher Education rules and not the youth sport guidelines that dictate high school athletics based on the state’s tier system, Mari said. According to the higher education plan, collegiate athletics are expected to follow standards adopted by the NCAA and local health departments could impose additional and stricter restrictions or requirements.
“There’s still a lot that can change and a lot that still has to be determined,” Mari said. “If you have to travel, what’s that county’s status?
“When we built the schedule, Feather River was in the stay-at-home order (due to the Greater Sacramento Region being under the 15 percent ICU bed capacity) at the time and couldn’t do anything. Now the lockdown has lifted so it can change at any moment. You can see how tricky it’s going to be to play.”
The NCAA guidelines, which were last updated Sept. 25, classify each sport as a low-, medium-, and high-contact risk sports but do not mention colored tiers or tie them to COVID rates. The lack of updates, even through the holiday surge of positive case rates, presents a vague set of rules that leaves everything in a holding pattern, Mari said.
“We’re proceeding as we’re allowed to play until we’re told otherwise so we can be ready to go,” Mari said, reiterating the importance for setting a tentative schedule. “That’s all we can really do right now.
“There are still multiple factors and a lot of time that can change things by our first practice dates, so there’s still a long way to go.”
As of now, only essential personnel are allowed to be present on the game sites which include players, coaches, trainers and referees, Mari said. Spectators are not allowed, he added.
Mari also confirmed Shasta College is following all local and state health and safety protocols and screenings which include higher education guidelines for periodic Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing standards among athletes and coaches. The guidelines require COVID testing and results within 48 hours of competition for high-risk contact sports (football, basketball and volleyball) for competitions.
8 matches (Mon/Wed) at 2 & 4 p.m.
3/1 – Feather River at Shasta (2)
3/8 – Shasta at Siskiyous (2)
3/10 – Shasta at Feather River (2)
3/17 – Siskiyous at Shasta (2)
12 games (Tues/Thurs) at 2 & 4 p.m.
3/2 – Feather River at Shasta
3/4 – Redwoods at Shasta
3/9 – Shasta at Siskiyous
3/11 – Shasta at Feather River
3/16 – Shasta at Redwoods
3/18 – Shasta at Siskiyous
3/23 – Feather River at Shasta
3/25 – Redwoods at Shasta
3/30 – Siskiyous at Shasta
4/1 – Shasta at Feather River
4/6 – Shasta at Redwoods
4/8 – Siskiyous at Shasta
4 games (Fridays) all at 1 p.m.
3/5 – Siskiyous at Shasta
3/12 – Feather River at Shasta
3/19 – BYE WEEK
3/26 – Shasta at Feather River
4/2 – Shasta at Siskiyous
4/9 – BYE WEEK
4 meets (Wednesdays) at 2 & 4 p.m.
3/3 – Meet #1
3/17 – Meet #2
3/31 – Meet #3
4/7 – Meet #4