California high school football players train without knowing if they will have a season this fall

ByJuan Carlos Guerrero KGO logo
Saturday, July 11, 2020
High schools await decision on a football season this fall
'This season is going to depend where I go to college': High school athletes await a decision on whether the state will allow high school sports this fall.

KENTFIELD, Calif. (KGO) -- It's 7:30 in the morning and players from the Marin Catholic High School football team are getting ready for summer practice. But this year, the routine is different.

"We are not using any indoor facilities. Everything is outside. Everything goes by the county guidelines," said head coach Mazi Moayed.

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Marin Catholic allowed members of the football team, as well as players from the boys and girls basketball teams, to begin conditioning training when Marin County allowed summer camps to open.

The players must follow the same guidelines as summer camps. That means they must train in groups of 12 or less. The players bring their own water and a backpack to store their cleats and clothes since they are not allowed to use the locker room.

Only 12 basketball players are allowed at a time inside the gym. They bring their own ball and practice their skills.

"There is no playing games, just working on fundamentals and working on improving their game, but there is no competition," said Dave Baso, Assistant Principal for Athletics.

For the football team, the school allows four groups of 12 players to train at a time, but they are spaced out in the football field and adjoining baseball field.

Players need to stay six feet apart while they train.

"It is definitely different," said Cameron Taylor, an incoming senior who plays on the offensive and defensive line.

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Even with the social distancing, he is excited to be training with his teammates. "This is definitely a highlight of my day and it feels great to be out of the house again and just back here practicing."

"It's like therapy for everyone," said coach Moayed. "The general feedback that we are getting is, 'It feels really good to be back there with the guys. No one is talking X's and O's. It is more for the emotional well being of the athletes.

The team is limited in what it can do. There is no contact, so players are divided into groups. The offensive line practices blocking techniques. The defensive lines hones its pass rushing skills. There is some tossing of the football, but that is limited and the ball is sanitized frequently.

Whether the team gets to suit up depends on the California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school sports in the state. It will decide by July 20 if it will allow fall sports in high schools.

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The CIF has several options. It could let fall sports, including football, move forward, it could also cancel the season or delay it until the spring.

The decision weighs heavily on players who need to show their skills to college scouts hoping to get a scholarship.

"This season is going to depend where I go to college," said Kekoa Garrido, who plays running back and linebacker. "A lot of us developed over the off season and we are looking forward to really show what we can do."

Garrido is already on scouts radar and he could get scholarship offers based on his performance last season. Other players, like Taylor, would benefit from a strong senior season.

"You have the wait and see guys, the late bloomers. Those guys need a body of work for the season to get picked up, so those guys would be hurt the most," said coach Moayed.

Taylor is trying to keep a positive attitude. "Whatever happens, happens. We are working as if we are going to have a season."

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