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LAUSD removing athletes who aren’t fully vaccinated from rosters

Pitcher Daniel Flores of Birmingham.
Birmingham pitcher Daniel Flores was scheduled to get his second vaccination shot on Monday, which would allow him to practice and play with the team.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

High schools following Los Angeles Unified School District rules began to remove athletes from rosters Monday, the first day of an LAUSD mandate banning students who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 from participating in games or afterschool practices.

Last week, LAUSD statistics indicated at least 70% of district athletes had been vaccinated. On Monday, LAUSD announced that 77% of students on teams met the Sunday deadline for two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

University had to forfeit its City Section Division II semifinal girls’ tennis match against Hamilton because it didn’t have enough players vaccinated. Torres has pulled out of its football playoff game Friday against New Designs Watts because of the same issue.

At Woodland Hills Taft, officials were alerting more than 100 students for all sports that they no longer were permitted to play on teams, handing them a letter explaining the mandate.

Corona Centennial-Mission Viejo is among the most intriguing matchups that were announced Sunday by the Southern Section.

They still are allowed to attend school but won’t be allowed to practice on any team when the school day ends and can’t play in winter competitions. They can regain their eligibility the day after becoming fully vaccinated with a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine or, if they are 18, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the LAUSD. The confirmation information has to be loaded into the district’s online portal.

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At Lake Balboa Birmingham, an independent charter school following the LAUSD mandate, athletic director Rick Prizant said 98% of the football team has been vaccinated and 76% of athletes.

At 3:30 p.m., when the final school bell was scheduled to ring, standout junior pitcher Daniel Flores said he would leave the baseball practice because he had received only one shot. He was scheduled to receive his second shot Monday evening.

Flores said he waited until last month to get vaccinated because his mother was unconvinced to sign off. He had to lobby her.

“My mom did not believe in it,” he said.

All eight games in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 high school football playoffs could be won by lower-seeded teams.

That’s when Flores reminded her, “If you want to see me play, then you have to let me get vaccinated.”

Another Birmingham player, catcher Alex Olvera, said was he among the first team members to be vaccinated last March because his aunt is a nurse and advised family members.

When teammates found out, they started asking questions such as, “How did it feel? Do you think I should get it?”

Birmingham shortstop Gavin Taylor said the requirement made him get vaccinated. “If I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t,” he said.


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