The Importance of High School Sports vs Risks of COVID-19

A website launched by local football coach aims to give parents and student athletes a voice in the decision making process for upcoming seasons

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Big decisions will be made in the coming weeks about high school athletics for the 2020-2021 school year and a local football coach wants to make sure parents aren't stuck on the sidelines without a voice.

Scripps Ranch Football coach Marlon Gardinera formed as a part of an effort to get parents, coaches, and community members included in the tough decisions ahead for high school sports.

"If I get to decide whether or not my sons go back to school, why don't I get a say in whether or not they play high school sports when they get there?" said Gardinera.

He's referring to the San Diego Unified School District's parent survey which went out in June asking them about their preferences between full-time traditional school, a hybrid approach, and full time distance learning for the fall.

According to the latest communication from district officials on June 28, 9 out 10 parents preferred the traditional or hybrid approach compared to distance learning.

If students don't return to campus in the fall in some capacity high school sports are certainly doomed. Gardinera realizes thi, but if classrooms do open up he believes sports fields should too.

But, the clock is ticking for decision makers.

The California Interscholastic Federation commissioners meet on Monday, July 20th to determine the status and schedules of sports for the coming year.

San Diego County's district and conference athletic heads are scheduled to hold a similar meeting on Wednesday, July 22 to discuss their regional approach to high school sports in light of the state recommendations.

The road map would have to comply with restrictions set by county leaders which means the San Diego County Health Department will have a say in the upcoming football, tennis, and field hockey seasons too.

"If the impact on children and likeliness of grave illness remains low, we must give parents the same option to play high sports as we do about going to high school at all," said Gardinera. "If we leave it to others to decide what's best for our own children, they will choose caution over the life lessons and memories guaranteed to come from another season of football."

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