By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods has begun team practices on a restricted basis, with the softball team returning to the field on Tuesday and the other 10 teams all set to follow in the coming week.
The twice-weekly practice sessions will be limited to 10 student athletes and facial coverings will be required along with social distancing.
“We’re moving forward,” CR Athletic Director Bob Brown told Humboldt Sports. “We had a really good training session last week with all of the coaches.”
The baseball team will resume practice next week at Bomber Field across from the Redwood Acres, while all other teams will practice on campus, staggering starting times so as to reduce the number of athletes in and around the facilities at any given time.
And after such a long layoff, it will be easy going at first.
“We’re starting out with light workouts,” softball head coach Maggie White said.
Sports teams at most of the community colleges around the state have not yet returned to practice, with no in-person classes on their campuses.
But with hybrid in-person/online classes required at CR for a handful of programs — such as nursing and the police academy — the athletic department was given the go-ahead to do the same.
“It’s a pretty stringent process we’re going through but we felt it was a good one and an important one,” Brown said.
The California Community College Athletic Association has suspended all sports competition until the new year and is expected to re-address the situation later this month or early in October.
If the seasons are given the go-ahead, the ADs in the Golden Valley Conference voted recently to play a conference-only schedule.
The press release
According to a press release announcing the news of this week’s return to practice, “CR Athletics has created daily check-in and checkout screenings and all protocols are in partnership with the Humboldt Independent Practice Association, which operates the CR Student Health Center, and in consultation with the County Health Department.
“Protocol includes masks, social distancing, ball rotation, equipment sanitation, dugout spacing and exercise group pods of no more than 10 students.
“CR coaches were trained on the screening protocols by CR’s Public Safety and Facilities departments, Athletics Director Bob Brown, and Head Athletics Trainer Nate Kees. If an athlete does not pass a screening, CR Athletics will arrange for them to be tested.
“For the past two months, we have been working with all of the current local, county and state safety guidelines as well as safety information put out by the CCCAA, CCCATA, NATA, and NSCA for developing school protocols,” said Kees. “This will ensure the safety of our staff and students and allow our intercollegiate conditioning classes to go forward in a hybrid form in the safest manner possible.”
Brown added, “Our trainer and department staff have spent a tremendous amount of time these last couple of months to plan for these courses. This is an opportunity for our student athletes to engage in some safe and positive physical conditioning, skill development and team building over the semester. We obviously hope that we’ll be able to return to competition next spring, but for now the goal of these courses is to keep our athletes safe, in shape and, most importantly, engaged in their academics.”