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Cougar Athletes Hope To Get Back In Action

The fall sports season – much like the start of school – has not been the way students, teachers, coaches, parents and fans have wanted. Escalon High School athletes find themselves in the same situation as other districts, not having the opportunity to get ready for competition.

“In early August, we received a directive from the state/county saying we could no longer continue with indoor conditioning due to the COVID situation in San Joaquin County. This eliminated the opportunity for boys and girls basketball, volleyball and cheer to be doing workouts in the gym,” explained EHS Athletic Director Nate Bartelink. “This also meant the weight room could not be used. Outdoor conditioning was allowed to continue as along as COVID safety guidelines were followed. Not too long after that, the fires in our area started so since mid-August, all conditioning has been put on hold due to unhealthy air quality.”

That has left athletes with no organized opportunity to prepare; but Bartelink said they are hopeful that eventually, once the fires are contained, some activity will be allowed to resume.

“We are hoping that the air quality improves soon so that outdoor conditioning can start up again. If the COVID numbers start to decrease to a point where gyms open up to the public, we are hopeful to be able to start indoor conditioning as well,” he added. “Once conditioning can take place again, September through early December will be treated as it would be during a normal summer off-season, where any sport can choose to hold workouts, as long as they are following state/local health guidelines. The “fall” season will be interesting, especially with the outdoor sports having to deal with the winter elements. Considering the alternative of having no sports season, I think everyone will sign up for dealing with the potential poor weather conditions for one school year during a delayed “fall” season.”

The fall season is scheduled to include football, cross country and volleyball; the bulk of the school sports are planned for the ‘second’ or ‘spring’ season starting in early 2021.