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Santa Maria area high schools to begin sports practices later this month

Santa Maria Joint Union High School athletics

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District (SMJUHSD) announced Tuesday sports teams will be able to begin practicing later this month.

“Under state, CIF, and county guidelines Righetti, Santa Maria, and Pioneer Valley High Schools will be shooting for a September 21st start date for return to play,” said SMJUHSD Assistant Superintendent, John Davis in a statement.

The move comes following similar announcements from other neighboring schools and school districts.

St. Joseph High School recently began holding athletics practices, while schools in the Lompoc Unified School District will begin on Sept. 8.

The Lucia Mar Unified School District in South San Luis Obispo County has targeted Oct. 8 as its start day for sports activities to resume.

According to a SMJUHSD release, schools will implement Phase One of Summer preparation per COVID-19 guidelines.

SMJUHSD teams will be allowed to begin an "extended summer conditioning period," provided that coaches are trained in proper guidelines and protocol, including Cohorts, PODS, spacing, and outdoor public safety.

“I’m excited for this opportunity, for our community and its’ athletes,” said Righetti High School Athletic Director Kevin Barbarick in a statement. “I also commend District leadership for enabling programs to return to play.

Before student-athletes are allowed to practice, they must adhere to several requirements.

1. SMJUHSD Return to Activity Waiver signed by parent/guardian agreeing to the requirement to self-assess their child for any COVID-19 symptoms. 

2. Individual Water Bottle. 

3. Completion of Athletic Clearance packet. 

4. Current Health Screening/Physical (2020-2021) on file 

Practices will focus on conditioning, specifically aiming to reintroduce student-athletes on specific movement and individual drills.

Coaches will instruct with the same 10 student-athletes in pods, which will be required to remain at least 20 feet apart.

All practices will take place outside. Gyms, weight rooms and pools will not be used for any athletic activity.

Student-athletes will not share equipment, have physical contact with others, and must maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.

“Athletic Directors and Administrators will review CIF, County, and District Return to Activities guidelines with coaches and players,” said District officials.

In July, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced it is planning to begin competition for high school athletics on Dec. 28, 2020.

California / Education / Outdoors / Safety / Santa Maria - North County / Sports / What's Right

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.