The air quality on Friday will determine whether Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Dos Pueblos high schools will host their Channel League football games on Friday night.
The smoke and ash from the Alisal Fire have created unhealthy conditions on the South Coast. The fire, which started on Monday, has burned more than 16,000 acres.
Santa Barbara is scheduled to play Oxnard High at Peabody Stadium, while Dos Pueblos is supposed take the field at Scott O’Leary Stadium against Rio Mesa. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
If the air quality isn’t improved by Friday morning, Dos Pueblos will play at Rio Mesa, according to Dos Pueblos Athletic Director Dan Feldhaus.
Santa Barbara will travel to Oxnard.
“No decision yet for football,” Santa Barbara AD Todd Heil said Thursday afternoon.
San Marcos AD Abe Jahadhmy said he wasn’t sure if the Royals would play their Pacific View League game against Buena at home. The JVs played their game at San Marcos on Thursday,
Thursday’s air quality for particulate matter was at a moderate (yellow) level, according to the Air Pollution Control District of Santa Barbara County.
The APCD’s forecast for Friday’s air quality calls for unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups (orange level).
Feldhaus said if DP’s football game has to be moved on Friday, it will impact Saturday’s Dos Pueblos Invitational cross country meet on the school’s campus.
“If we host football on Friday, we will allow the DPI. If we have to move football, we will look to cancel the DPI,” Feldhaus said.
Pat Cooney, the Carpinteria High athletic director, said his school’s home football game against Nordhoff is on unless conditions change.
The impact of the fire led to a premature ending of the Channel League girls volleyball season for Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara. Those teams were scheduled to host Lompoc and Cabrillo, respectively, in league finales on Tuesday. The closure of Highway 101 prevented Lompoc and Cabrillo from traveling for the matches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Feldhaus said Thursday was the last allowable league play date, so the matches were declared no contests.
The outcome didn’t affect the final standings. Dos Pueblos was the outright champion with an 8-1 record, Santa Barbara finishes second at 7-2 and San Marcos third at 7-3. All three teams advance to the CIF-SS playoffs, which begin next week. The playoff pairings will be announced Saturday.
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.