Advertisement
Share
Sports

Local high schools postpone all games until further notice due to coronavirus

tn-dpt-sp-hb-huntington-harvard-baseball-20200226-17.jpg
Huntington Beach third baseman Joe Yost throws out a Harvard-Westlake runner on Feb. 26. The Oilers, along with other local high school programs, have had their games suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus.
(Tim Berger/ Staff Photographer)

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District and Huntington Beach Union High School District each postponed high school athletic games indefinitely Thursday due to the ongoing concern about the coronavirus, joining other school districts that are taking similar measures.

The NMUSD, home to Corona del Mar, Newport Harbor, Estancia and Costa Mesa high schools, closed its schools starting Monday until at least April 13.

The HBUHSD, which includes Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Marina, Ocean View and Westminster high schools, shut its doors effective Monday through March 27.

Games or practices will not be allowed while the schools are out of session.

Advertisement

“We don’t know how long that will be,” Edison athletic director Rich Boyce said of when the games or practices will resume. “It could be two weeks, it could be three weeks. We don’t know yet, but we’re just going to play it by ear and see what happens. If things get better and we can start going again, then we’re ready to go.”

Most games Thursday were canceled due to the rain. Costa Mesa still hosted an Orange Coast League swimming meet against Santa Ana, while Newport Harbor boys’ volleyball played host to Dana Hills. Costa Mesa boys’ volleyball also played at Godinez. Each of these contests were contested without fans.

NMUSD Supt. Dr. Fred Navarro said in an email Thursday that the decision to suspend athletic contests was made in consultation with other Orange County school districts. Large gatherings of more than 250 people will also be postponed or canceled.

Advertisement

“I’m going to guess they’re probably going to take it week by week, depending on how things progress in the outside world,” Costa Mesa athletic director Sharon Uhl said. “They’re not putting a date on it. Craziness is happening, but it’s all Orange County school districts. It’s my understanding that all Orange County superintendents got together and this is a decision that they all made together, so everyone’s on the same page.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued state guidelines strongly discouraging large group gatherings in an escalation of California’s response to the novel coronavirus.

Laguna Beach Unified School District closed Laguna Beach High through April 3. Officials said in an email to parents that all of its athletic competitions have been canceled until further notice as well, after communication and consideration with area superintendents, principals and athletic directors within the Sunset Conference.

In addition to suspending athletic contests, Sage Hill School has shut down its campus. The Lightning will be utilizing online school next week, followed by spring break the week of March 23.

“The current plan is for the school to remain closed for the next two weeks,” Sage Hill athletic director Megan Cid said in an email. “While Sage Hill School is closed, the school will not be holding any athletic or arts practices, participating in athletic competitions or holding any other co-curricular activities.”

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District said Thursday that it intends to remain open for in-person instruction at least through March, though high school sports contests will be suspended starting Friday and gatherings of at least 250 people will be canceled or postponed in response to the coronavirus. Two local private schools are switching to online classes next week.

Another local private school also will be suspending practices and games. Pacifica Christian Orange County athletic director Brandon Gonzalez said that the Tritons will not have any athletic events for a two-week period starting March 16. However, he said Friday’s home boys’ volleyball match against Brethren Christian would be played as scheduled, but without spectators.

“We’re just being proactive,” Gonzalez said. “We’re not reacting out of fear. A lot of it is that a lot of schools have chose to do something similar, which makes it really hard to play teams when no one’s playing. But also, a lot of our programs are off-site ... We’ll reevaluate after two weeks and kind of see where society is at that point.”

Advertisement

The Garden Grove League, which features Los Amigos High, made the decision Thursday morning to cancel athletic events through the end of March due to the coronavirus. Garden Grove Unified School District public information officer Abby Broyles said in an email that the decision was made at the direction of the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency, to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people.

Local coaches and athletes met the news with disappointment, though also understanding. CdM boys’ water polo and swimming coach Kareem Captan said that many of this spring’s club water polo tournaments have been canceled, including one scheduled for this weekend at Newport Harbor High. For high school swimming, he decided to give the Sea Kings Thursday and Friday off from practice.

“A lot has happened in the last 48 hours,” Captan said. “We’ll see what it looks like on Monday.”

Estancia baseball player Garrett Palme was supposed to be playing rival Costa Mesa on Friday night at Angel Stadium. Instead, his senior season is now in doubt.

“We found out through an email, and we’re all pretty bummed but trying to stay optimistic,” Palme said. “We understand. It’s just unfortunate timing, especially for our seniors, but we understand that preventative measures have to be taken to make sure that everybody is safe. We’re aware of those, but it doesn’t ease the pain at all ... What are you going to do?”

Teddy King and her CdM girls’ lacrosse team were scheduled to have a game at San Juan Hills on Thursday, but it was canceled.

“I think kids are just really freaked out, because this hasn’t really happened before,” King said. “My dad described it as the 9/11 of this decade. He said our coronavirus was his 9/11, because everything is just shutting down indefinitely. I’m sure everyone is taking a different turn on that, because we’ve never really had sports canceled.

Advertisement

“All of the seniors, I know have been saying in my group chats, ‘Oh my gosh, our senior season is canceled.’ We love our team. Everyone was excited to go through our last spring sport, and then to find out that it was [postponed] because of the virus just is not a good feeling.”

The UCI men’s basketball team was scheduled to take on Long Beach State in the Big West Tournament at Honda Center on Thursday. Now the remainder of the college basketball season has been canceled over concerns of the spread of the coronavirus.

Below are the high school sporting events involving local programs that have been canceled or postponed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Thursday

BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL

Corona del Mar at Los Angeles Loyola has been canceled.

Edison at home against Northwood has been canceled.

Huntington Beach against Redondo Union has been postponed.

Laguna Beach at home against Aliso Niguel has been canceled.

BASEBALL

Newport Harbor at Huntington Beach has been postponed to Saturday at 2 p.m. due to the rain.

BOYS’ GOLF

Estancia against Westminster at Meadowlark Golf Course has been canceled due to the rain.

Huntington Beach against Mater Dei at Santa Ana Country Club has been canceled due to the rain.

Fountain Valley against Servite at Western Hills Country Club has been canceled due to the rain.

BOYS’ SWIMMING & DIVING

Estancia at Garden Grove has been canceled.

GIRLS’ SWIMMING & DIVING

Estancia at Garden Grove has been canceled.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Huntington Beach at home against Corona del Mar has been postponed to April 21 at 3 p.m.

Fountain Valley against Mater Dei at Los Caballeros Racquet Club has been canceled due to the rain.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Corona del Mar at San Juan Hills has been postponed.

Edison at Yorba Linda has been canceled.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Newport Harbor boys’ lacrosse at San Clemente has been canceled.

SOFTBALL

Estancia at Westminster has been canceled due to the rain.

Corona del Mar at Savanna has been canceled.

Fountain Valley at home against Savanna has been canceled.

Friday

BASEBALL

Estancia against Costa Mesa at Angel Stadium has been postponed.

Edison at Marina has been postponed.

Fountain Valley baseball at Laguna Beach has been canceled.

Corona del Mar at home against Los Alamitos has been postponed.

Sage Hill at home against Inglewood Animo Leadership has been canceled.

TRACK & FIELD

Irvine Invitational has been canceled.

Edison in Redondo Track Festival at Redondo Union has been canceled.

BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL

Sage Hill at Estancia has been canceled.

Fountain Valley at home against Whittier California has been canceled.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Sage Hill at Valencia has been canceled.

Edison at home against Beckman has been postponed.

Huntington Beach at home against Irvine has been canceled.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Sage Hill at Valencia has been canceled.

SOFTBALL

Laguna Beach at home against San Diego has been canceled.

Saturday

TRACK & FIELD

Irvine Invitational has been canceled.

Edison in Redondo Track Festival at Redondo Union has been canceled.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Newport Harbor at home against Palos Verdes has been canceled.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Corona del Mar at San Clemente has been canceled.

SOFTBALL

Newport Harbor at home against Trabuco Hills has been canceled.

Edison at Santa Fe Tournament has been canceled.

SWIMMING & DIVE

Surf City Invite at Ocean View has been canceled.

::

Support our sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.

For more sports stories, visit latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/sports or follow us on Twitter @DailyPilotSport.

Updates:
6:01 PM, Mar. 13, 2020: The article was updated with information on the local school districts closing their campuses because of the coronavirus.

This article was originally published on March 12 at 8:22 p.m.

Advertisement