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The Sports Report: Start of high school sports season in California is delayed

Mater Dei receiver Kody Epps is tacked by St. John Bosco safety Jake Newman during a 2019 game.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Eric Sondheimer, on the new high school sports calendar: The start of the high school sports season in California will be delayed until December or January, the California Interscholastic Federation announced Monday.

In releasing a new sports calendar, the state’s governing body for high school sports might be giving the state’s more than 800,000 athletes their best opportunity to have a sports season in the 2020-21 school year. With a summer surge in the coronavirus, most California public and private schools plan to begin the academic year with online classes.

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“This is the best possible plan we have with what’s going on to give students an opportunity to participate,” said Vicky Lagos, the Los Angeles City Section commissioner. “There are going to be issues in terms of facilities and multiple-sport athletes, but this is the best scenario for the most people. I have confidence the schools and coaches will work it out among themselves. My take from coaches is they want the opportunity to participate and be with the kids.”

Each of the 10 sections will release their own schedules built around the CIF calendar. The City Section and Southern Section both announced that football practice would begin Dec. 14, with games beginning on Jan. 8. High school football practice was scheduled to begin Aug. 3, with games Aug. 21.

Girls’ volleyball, cross-country, boys’ water polo, girls’ golf, girls’ tennis and field hockey also are fall sports forced to be delayed. The new Southern Section calendar still needs to be approved at an emergency meeting of its executive council.

Under the new CIF calendar, the last section football game is scheduled for April 10, with one week for regional bowl games on April 17. The last volleyball section match would be March 13. The last basketball game in sections would be June 12, followed by state playoffs finishing June 19. Baseball and softball championships will conclude on June 19 and June 26.

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For a look at the new sports calendar, click here.

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NFL

Sam Farmer on the NFL: With rookies around the NFL set to report to camps Tuesday, the league and its players’ union have found common ground on a lot of important issues:

No preseason games.

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Players can opt out of the season amid COVID-19 concerns.

An expanded “acclimation period” — meaning, no pads — from seven to 18 days.

Testing was a significant hurdle. Whereas the league advocated that players be tested every other day, the NFL Players Assn. pushed for daily testing.

The sides met in the middle. Players will be tested daily for the first two weeks of camp, then, if the numbers meet certain standards, the testing shifts to every other day.

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Specifically, if individuals in Tiers 1 and 2 — players, coaches, trainers, and others close to the team — have a positive rate that’s less than 5%, that triggers every-other-day testing. If the rate is more than 5%, daily testing continues.

———

Bill Plaschke on why every football league should be delayed: It’s a Hail Mary pass that just doesn’t fly.

It’s a two-minute drill in the final 10 seconds.

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It’s a desperate money grab at potentially great personal cost to the players and their families, and it has to stop now.

Football, all of it, from Pop Warner to Roger Goodell, needs to avoid the inevitable sack from a surging coronavirus and call a six-month timeout.

Shut down NFL training camps before they open. Forget the idea of unpaid college athletes playing abbreviated schedules on campuses deemed unsafe for regular students. Follow the lead of California high schools and temporarily dim all Friday night lights.

Start the seasons in January. Play the championships in the spring. Learn from the mistakes that will be made by the restarting sports. Understand that you are playing a very different, far more dangerous game.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTSCIF announces high school sports season won’t begin until December or January
You’re not the NBA, which has covered itself in a bubble. You’re not baseball, which competes with most players standing a baseline apart.

You’re tackle football. You’re a contact sport. You’re the exact opposite of coronavirus safety. You don’t do social distancing. You do antisocial colliding.

ANGELS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels: The Angels might have to open the pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season at Oakland on Friday night without their marquee winter acquisition.

Anthony Rendon’s oblique injury, which has sidelined the star third baseman since Thursday, appeared to take a little turn for the worse on Monday, throwing the former Washington Nationals slugger’s status for Friday night’s game in doubt.

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“All I know is that he’s more sore today, and with that, he really had to back off his work,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said on a videoconference call before Monday night’s exhibition game against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park.

“On the surface, it would appear he’ll have to be pushed back. Knowing him, he’s going to want to play in that first game. I can’t tell you for sure if he’s out of it yet or how long he’s going to be out of it. He’s very motivated. It’s just that he has to get past the soreness.”

NBA

Dan Woike on the NBA: NBA players and coaches have espoused a type of blind faith in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the document governing the league’s attempted reboot amid a global pandemic. And Monday, that faith was rewarded with something concrete.

Since July 13, the NBA has tested 346 players inside its Orlando bubble, and none have shown evidence of the coronavirus, the league announced in coordination with the NBPA, the union that represents the league’s players.

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It’s unknown whether or how many other people inside the league’s campus — a group that includes coaches, training staff, team personnel, league staff and media — have tested positive.

Still, Monday’s test results are an unquestioned win for the league in its ongoing fight to keep its operation going until the season’s scheduled conclusion in mid-October.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS

Compiled bu John Scheibe:

Mike Tyson stopped challenger Carl “The Truth” Williams in 93 seconds on this date in 1989 with a left hook to the jaw in the first round to retain his heavyweight title at Atlantic City’s Convention Hall in New Jersey.

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Referee and former boxer Randy Neumann stopped the fight after Williams got back on his feet at the count of six. When Neumann raised his arms to signal the bout was over, he was met with a chorus of boos and jeers from the crowd of over 11,000 that cascaded down to the ring.

“I had a 10 second judgment to make and he [Williams] could not answer a simple question,” Neumann said. “That, plus the look in his eyes, told me he was not in very good shape.”

In June of 1988 in the same building, Tyson had knocked out Michael Spinks in 1:31 of the first round.

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

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1956 Brooks Lawrence of the Cincinnati Reds had his 13-game winning streak snapped at Crosley Field when Roberto Clemente hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning that led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-3 victory. Lawrence finished the game but ended up losing to Pittsburgh’s relief ace Elroy Face. Lawrence would go on to win 19 games in the season.

1968 Arnold Palmer topped $1 million in earnings, the first PGA golfer to reach the seven-figure mark, even though he lost to Julius Boros by a stroke at the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley Club in San Antonio. The victory made Boros, 48, the oldest player to win a major tournament. Palmer had a chance to catch Boros on the 72nd hole but missed an eight foot putt that left him tied with Bob Charles for second place.

1975 Joe Torre of the New York Mets grounded into a National League-record four straight double plays during a 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros at Shea Stadium. Felix Millan, who batted ahead of Torre in the lineup, had four singles but was erased each time Torre faced Ken Forsch of the Astros.

1979 — Spain’s Seve Ballesteros, 22, won the first of his five major championships when he beat Ben Crenshaw and Jack Nicklaus by three strokes in the British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s Golf Club in Lancashire, England. On the 16th fairway, Ballesteros deliberately hit his ball into an area for parked cars so that he would have an easier shot to the green. A perfect sand wedge and 30-foot putt gave him a three-shot lead with two holes to play.

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1985 — John Henry, the greatest money winner in horse racing history, was forced to retire because of a tendon injury after he was scratched from the Vernon Underwood Handicap at Hollywood Park. The 10-year-old gelding, who won 39 races in 83 starts, earned nearly $6.6 million in purses. John Henry won the inaugural Arlington Million at Arlington Park outside Chicago, in 1981 with Bill Shoemaker in the saddle, and again in 1984 with Chris McCarron in the irons.

2001 — In their highest-scoring game in 58 years, the Dodgers routed Colorado 22-7 at Coors Field in Denver. Gary Sheffield hit two home runs and Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca added solo blasts. The Dodgers scoring included five runs in the first inning, six runs in the sixth and nine in the eighth. The 22 runs were the most scored by the Dodgers since they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 23-6 on July 10, 1943, at Ebbets Field.

2013 Phil Mickelson won his first British Open at Muirfield Golf Links in Gullane, Scotland, when he shot a final round five-under par 66 that included four birdies in the last six holes. It was his best round of the tournament and he added the Claret Jug to his four other major championships.

2018 Jerry Bozzo, 97, extends his record for being the oldest trainer to win a thoroughbred race when he sends Gusty Wind to the post in the fifth race at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Gusty Wind, ridden by jockey Luca Panici, won by four lengths in a mild upset and paid $14.80.

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2018 Josef Martinez set a Major League Soccer record when he scored his sixth career three-goal hat trick in a match that Atlanta United rallied in to beat D.C. United 3-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Martinez had shared the mark of five hat tricks with Stern John and

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press

AND FINALLY

Seve Ballesteros deliberately hits his ball into a parking lot on his way to winning the 1979 British Open. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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