(East Los Angeles, CA) March 14, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: Greetings and Saludos To All…Our headline brings us all back, and one step closer to our reality, when it comes to the full compliment of sports coverage. Yes, the word has been confirmed, there will be limited high school football to be played in the LAUSD and the L.A. City Section (LACS). And, the news couldn’t have come at a better time for all of our thousands of high school athletes, coaches, Athletic Directors, and all sports followers. Today marks the one year recollection of that inevitable, dark, deplorable, and unforgettable March 12, 2020. Now, the equal, and not-so equal opportunity we find here in our geographical portion of the Golden State has arrived so we can root for, and quietly celebrate victories or deeply concern ourselves with the defeats. Thanks to the abundant vaccination drive led by our Federal government, this long-awaited movement back to having our schools opened and our sports restored, has come. So, get ready!!
But to better understand the present, we need to look back at the past. The all-protective public health umbrella of the State of California’s Governor’s Office, the CA. Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) coupled with the State’s CIF Office of Rules & Regulations that govern the re-instatement of youth sports participation in all high school sports programs, has now been slightly lowered, but not yet totally discarded.
Basically, LACS identified two separate seasons after the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak literally forced the end to all sports programs. Season 1 sports included: Football, Cross Country, Cheerleading, Field Hockey, Football, Gymnastics, Skiing/Snowboarding, Girls Volleyball, and Water Polo. We have reached the end of that cycle and are readying for Season 2 sports which will include: Baseball, Softball, Boys & Girls Soccer, Track & Field, and Cheer (Traditional). Football has been approved and will be carried over.
In short time, we will all be gradually changing back to the Pre-COVID days, when high school sports was as equally, and undeniably followed as our professional sports ranks continue to be, in spite of the pandemic.
Here in Southern California, a multitude of CIF/SS high school programs, not under the direct jurisdiction of the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) and the CIF/L.A. City Section (LACS), have already returned to their sports programs after their full compliance with all of the CDPH requirements as earlier mentioned.
To clearly and distinctly contrast the issue, think of our two local parochial high schools, Cathedral and Salesian, as belonging in this group. They launched their season schedules, commencing this very weekend. Let’s take a quick look at the results—Cathedral was blanked on the road against Downey, (24-0) in a non-league match-up. Salesian traveled to Montebello, also in a non-league contest to take on the Cantwell-Sacred Heart Cardinals. The final was Salesian (31), Cantwell (0). Both Cathedral and Salesian will play (5-6) games this Spring season. The CIF/Southern Section which governs both will determine if there will be any Playoffs.
Now, on the other hand, as you think of Roosevelt, Mendez, Lincoln, and Wilson, they have been authorized to resume “team conditioning and practice drills.” Academically, the LAUSD is still conducting its daily “virtual student education” programs, while per their L.A. City Section (LACS) administration, all Athletic Directors have submitted their participating teams’ schedules for final approval. Schedules are starting to be made known publicly and we are now able to say that the Eastern League has already experienced a hectic situation with the decision of the Garfield Bulldogs not to play in the initial scheduling of teams, essentially dropping out of the League. More info will be forthcoming shortly as most teams that we’ve traditionally covered have opted in to play a short Spring season.
The 2021 Eastern League, comprised of Roosevelt, South Gate, Huntington Park, Legacy, Southeast, Bell, Legacy, and M.A.C.E.S. (Maywood) will play just three conference games which commence on Friday, April 9th. Due to Garfield’s decision to withdraw from the League, this unfortunately means that there will NO possibility of the 86th “East L.A. Classic” taking place. More to come on this later.
Here is the revised Eastern League schedule that has been approved by the CIF/LACS. ALL game times have yet to be determined but should be at either 6pm or 7 pm. We will post them as soon as we receive them.
Wk #1 – 4/9 Bell @ Roosevelt; MACES @ Huntington Pk; South Gate @ Legacy; Southeast @ Marshall; Wk #2 – 4/16 MACES @ Bell; Huntington Pk @ Roosevelt; Lincoln @ South Gate; Southeast @ Legacy; Wk #3 – 4/23 Huntington Pk @ Bell; Roosevelt @ MACES; South Gate @ Southeast; Legacy (Bye week) Wk #4 – 4/30 Championship Game: Winner Group A vs. Winner Group B; (other games will feature A2 vs B2; A3 vs. B 3; and A4 vs. B4).
Other recent news has revealed that LACS’s Northern League teams, Torres, Eagle Rock, and Franklin, plus the Coliseum League’s, Locke have all decided NOT to field football teams this Spring. This leaves Marshall, Lincoln, and Wilson as the only Northern League schools that are planning to play a schedule.
Keep in mind that there are still very critical Administrative issues pending the official re-opening, such as the vaccinations for all teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, maintenance crews, security/police officers, nurses, etc. who are all needed to keep our LAUSD schools open. In addition, the teachers union, United Teachers of L.A. (UTLA), must approve consent to return for all members. Other schools, such as private and parochial, have been given discretion to conduct their own programs as they face different criteria and liabilities in doing so. We’ll do our best to bring you new updates on the full opening of school in the LAUSD.
And, there you have what we have been able to discern about the unique differences in the re-starting of our State’s high school sports programs, post-pandemic in nature, and in fact. In addition to all of the sports talk, the most critical issue on our public schools’ educational agendas, still remains the ultimate goal of providing a consistently good education to all of our LAUSD and other School Districts’ students, from grade levels, K-12, as we slowly begin the transition from the old, tragic pandemic days to the newer, and somewhat less-threatening pandemic times. Stay tuned everyone. We’ll do our very best to keep you all up to date as we hear more “Breaking News” about the return of high school sports to East L.A. and Beyond.