South Valley high school sports community reacts to delayed seasons

The decision to delay high school athletics in California probably didn't come as a total shock to anyone.

But for players, coaches, and fans, it still hurts.

"(I'm) disappointed for the seniors, disappointed for the program," said Mt. Whitney Football Coach Nathan Chamberlain. "It was my second year, we had a lot of things going in the right direction, kids working hard, buying in."

Chamberlain broke the news to his players on Monday they would have to wait until at least December to start practicing again.

RELATED: CIF announces delays for high school sports seasons due to COVID-19 pandemic

Football in winter?

It's a strange concept for senior Ryan Quintana.

He says he feels out of shape.

But he's doing his best to stay fit at home.

"I miss all my friends, all the teammates and everybody, all the coaches, just the vibe that it brings," Quintana said. "Just being stuck at home kind of sucks, playing video games all day."

"(There's) something to be said for people who have played sports is the camaraderie of practice, weightlifting...working hard towards a common goal," Chamberlain said.

After traditional fall sports wrap up, winter and spring sports will start around the same time.

It means multi-sport athletes like Quintana may not be able to do both basketball and track.

"The area you're going to have an issue is with the winter and spring kids," said Tulare Union High School Athletic Director Diana Nalbandian-Hatton. "If you have a kid that plays three sports, they might have to choose between their winter and spring sport-whether they're going to do one or if the coaches will accommodate and let them try to play both."

It's certainly not a win-win situation.

But Quintana knows it's the safe one.

"I don't want to get sick personally either, so I understand why it's being pushed back so we're all safe and we can all just enjoy sports again and school and just regular life again," Quintana said.

"At least we have a plan to play some sports moving forward," Nalbandian-Hatton added. "I have two girls, I have a daughter that's going to be a senior and an incoming freshman, and they are beside themselves. They want to get busy, they want to practice, they want to get going."
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