San Diego County Athletes Hopeful For Late Start To Football Season

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced it's delaying the start of all 2020-2021 sports schedules by at least three months

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High school sports are pushing back the start of their seasons by at least three months, impacting thousands of student athletes across San Diego County.

“It’s almost August, we should be in football right now,” said Riley Merrigan. “You can’t throw a football through a zoom meeting.”

Typically, during the late summer months football fields start getting filled with high school athletes preparing for a new season, but that's changed.

Riley Merrigan is a captain for Scripps Ranch High School's football team and said he's doing his best to stay positive.

“We will get back together, we will get in that huddle eventually and back with our coaches, our teammates, back to the sport we love and, you know, we got to keep our head high,” said Merrigan.

On Monday the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced it's delaying the start of all 2020-2021 sports schedules.

Many student athletes fear they'll lose out on another sport if the pandemic isn't under control by the end of the year.

“That’s in the back of everyone’s mind, but right now we have a definitive date and we’ve got to prepare like that’s when we start,” explained Merrigan.

High school athletes like Merrigan tell NBC 7 that sports are their outlet for stress and an opportunity to earn college scholarships.

“This is both fearful that it’s just a reset of potential disappointment, at the same time it gives us an opportunity for three important things to happen, for adults to be responsible and follow guidelines, it gives an opportunity to develop treatments and a vaccine,” said Marlon Gardinera.

Scripps High school head football coach Gardinera is advocating for families to have the option of allowing their kids back on the field.

“This is bigger than sports. The change, the lack of normalcy, lack of structure, it’s different,” said Gardinera.

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