It’s not just the spring sports that are hurting right now


Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — The coronavirus crisis is having a widespread effect on the sports world, and affecting more than just the spring sports right now.

With all the local schools closed for the immediate future, all sports activities have been suspended indefinitely, including games and practices, as well as offseason programs.

And that’s impacting several teams’ preparations for the fall, including the H-DNL football teams.

“It’s strange for sure,” McKinleyville head coach Keoki Burbank said this week. “It’s tough because we were  having a really good offseason. We had the best weight room attendance since I’ve been at McKinleyville.”

Many of the players around the league can work out at home, but not all of them have weight rooms or the sort of equipment they have access to at school, and that will have an effect on their preparations.

Two H-DNL teams — Eureka and Hoopa — also will feature new head coaches this coming season, and the suspension of all activities hasn’t helped the transition for either program.

Andrew Haraldson takes over at Eureka while the Hoopa head coaching position remains open for now.

Many of the coaches have been in constant contact with their isolated players and continuing to coach from a distance.

It’s not quite the same experience, however, and younger teams like McKinleyville, with a squad of mostly juniors, need as much time together in the offseason as possible in order to grow.

“We only have two seniors coming back, so for us not to have spring ball is a big loss,” Burbank said.

The good news for all concerned is that there is every reason to believe the ongoing crisis will have cleared up enough by the summer, giving these teams plenty of time to prepare for the fall season.

Right now, however, everything remains on hold, and all the teams are battling the same issues.

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