By Ray Hamill — At least one local coach is confident his team’s season will go ahead this year despite the uncertainty surrounding the high school sports calendar.
Eureka High cross country head coach Matt Messner and his runners return to practice on Monday, with the season potentially ready to begin on Jan. 25.
Cross country is one of the low-contact outdoor sports that will be allowed to compete even under the purple or most restricted tier as per the most recent youth sports guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health in mid-December.
“We’re very hopeful,” Messner said. “The Eureka City Schools board has approved us to come back and everything is looking good. The thing that has to happen now is the meeting with the athletic directors to determine the schedule.”
The H-DNL athletic directors are scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
The Loggers are the defending boys league champions and have been working out on their own since the shutdown last March.
They returned to restricted team practice in October before shutting down again just before Thanksgiving.
Messner is expecting a shortened season with four or five meets and a league championship, which the Loggers are slated to host.
And he believes the season could be held safely with restrictions.
“I’m super encouraged,” he said, adding that his runners have “improved dramatically” and have “not stopped training since March.”
“I just hope all the schools are excited as I am,” he said.