High school crowds
This week’s crosstown basketball games, which bring out wild and crazy student sections, won’t be happening as the Santa Barbara Unified School District is putting a pause on indoor athletic events due to the Omicron variant. Here, a crowd turns out for a 2021 crosstown game.  (Gary Kim / Noozhawk file photo)

All indoor athletic events this week at the three high schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District have been put on pause due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, school officials announced Monday.

Boys and girls basketball and wrestling at Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos were scheduled to begin Channel League competition this week.

“We’re postponing for this week,” said Dos Pueblos Athletic Director Dan Feldhaus, who added that he and the other six athletic directors in the league are working with the CIF-Southern Section on rescheduling the games for later in the season.

Abe Jahadhmy and Todd Heil, the athletic directors at San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools, respectively, concurred that this week’s postponed indoor athletic events will be rescheduled.

“Hopefully, it’s just this week to give us a little bit of buffer,” said Feldhaus of the postponements. “No decisions made on spectators or anything like that. We’re just postponing this week’s indoor events.”

Dos Pueblos and San Marcos were slated to begin league play against each other in boys and girls basketball on Tuesday and wrestling on Wednesday.

Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara were to face each other in girls basketball on Thursday and boys basketball on Friday.

San Marcos was playing Cabrillo in boys and girls basketball on Thursday.

This week’s games in the outdoor sports of soccer and water polo are being played as scheduled.

On Tuesday, San Marcos is at Dos Pueblos in a boys and girls varsity soccer doubleheader, while Santa Barbara is at Lompoc for girls soccer and the boys are home against Lompoc.

In soccer matches on Thursday, Santa Barbara hosts Dos Pueblos in a boys and girls doubleheader. The San Marcos girls play at Cabrillo and the boys are at home.

The 22-team Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions girls water polo tournament is still on schedule Thursday through Saturday at the Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos pools.

Feldhaus said members of the Dos Pueblos boys basketball team were presently in COVID-19 protocols

“We’re testing our indoor sports teams this week,” he said. “That’ll be a good indicator of where we are. Maybe there’ll be more (positive tests), maybe there won’t be. We’ll see after testing.”

At Carpinteria High, Athletic Director Pat Cooney said late Monday afternoon that Wednesday’s home girls basketball game against Santa Paula and a special pregame ceremony were postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within the basketball team.

The ceremony was to dedicate a new U.S. flag for the refurbished gym (the flag flew about the U.S. Capitol in November) and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, legislation that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions receiving federal aid and allowed equal sport teams for girls, or let the girls try out with the boys.

U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal was scheduled to be at the ceremony to present the flag to the high school. 

“At the moment, we still plan to hold the Flag dedication/Title IX Anniversary Celebration prior to the girls basketball game with Santa Paula,” said Cooney earlier Monday afternoon. “However, today’s round of COVID testing is key to whether or not we move forward with the event.”

At Bishop Diego, Athletic Director Aaron Skinner said: “As we stand now, we’re a go for this week.”

On Thursday, the Bishop boys soccer team hosts Santa Clara and the boys basketball team plays at St. Bonaventure. The girls basketball team takes on Foothill Tech at Ventura College on Friday and the girls soccer team hosts Villanova on Saturday.

“As of now, everything is on as scheduled unless it’s been rescheduled,” said Skinner.

Read more stories from Noozhawk’s Sports section here. 

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.