By Ray Hamill — It appears as if the Division-I contingent of former H-DNL players could very well get to play football this fall after all.
It has been widely reported on Wednesday that the Mid-American Conference will vote on whether to play this fall on Friday, meaning former McKinleyville standout Bryce Petersen — a starting all-conference center for the Akron Zips — could be back on the field sooner than expected.
Likewise with two other local players — Isaak Gutierrez of Eureka and Kyle Spalding of McKinleyville — who play in the Mountain West Conference, which will vote on a possible fall return on Thursday.
Gutierrez, a sophomore center, joined the New Mexico Lobos earlier this year, while Spalding is a senior offensive tackle for the San Diego State Aztecs.
Along with the Pac-12, which will also vote on a possible return on Friday, that means the three FBS conferences not currently scheduled to play football in the fall will all be voting on a possible return this week.
The availability of rapid testing for COVID-19 has been a key factor for the conferences in reconsidering their earlier decisions to postpone to the spring.
The MAC was the first FBS conference to postpone fall football back in early August.
A fourth former H-DNL football player playing at the Division-I collegiate level — Eureka’s Miles Meynell — is red-shirting this year at UC Davis, which won’t play football until the spring.