The Lompoc Unified School District joined the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District in postponing the July 6 start of conditioning workouts for some of their fall season athletic teams.
Lompoc Unified announced Saturday that it was delaying the start date because of the the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County and the increased restrictions imposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Santa Maria Joint Union made its decision on Friday.
Both school districts have not determined new start dates for their student athletes to return to campus for non-contact workouts.
The Santa Barbara Unified School District has yet to determined when it will allow the student athletes at its three schools — Santa Barbara High, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos — to begin conditioning for the fall season.
The traditional fall sports regular season, which runs from mid-August through October, is in jeopardy of not starting on time because of the pandemic
The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body of high school sports, is expected to announce on July 20 when the fall sports calendar will begin. The CIF has said it is determined to have all three seasons of high school sports.
Lompoc Unified had originally planned for student athletes at Lompoc High and Cabrillo to start conditioning workouts on Monday, July 6. Santa Maria High, Righetti and Pioneer Valley of the SMJUHSD also were given approval to start on that day.
“Student and staff safety continue to be our number one priority,” LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald said Saturday in a statement. “We recognize know how much students were looking forward to getting back out there, we were too. Once we can safely resume fall sports, we plan on doing so.”
The LUSD plans to consult with county and state officials and monitor the COVID-19 situation in Lompoc and the county prior to deciding when it’s safe for its student athletes to practice.
“Lompoc Unified School District is committed to athletics and other extracurricular programs as essential to our students’ educational experience, the district said in a statement. “Their first priority, however, is the health and safety of the students, staff, and the entire community. The district is disappointed to have to postpone these highly anticipated practices and will work diligently to safely begin practices when as soon as safely possible.
Said Dick Barrett, school board member and former Lompoc High football coach: “This is disappointing for everyone. But, we need to make sure kids are safe.”
John Davis, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the SMJUHSD, said the past week has been a whirlwind with the surge of coronavirus cases in the region and the state
“As the state begins the process of closing things down again, especially in light of the holiday weekend that is now upon us, we need to reconsider the wisdom of commencing our plan,” he said in a statement. “The district will continue efforts to make high school sports a reality in the future.”