Freshman Delsyn Beaton watches his shot at the golf team's March 1 match. The Cavaliers lost their match against Sacramento Adventist. (Photo by Arikta Trivedi)

Sports return after nearly a year

After nearly a year without athletics, Country Day sports returned when the ski and snowboard team hit the slopes on Feb 15. The team had two competitions during the mid-winter break. Golf and cross country followed with their first matches on Feb. 22.

Sophomore Grace Eberhart competes on the Cross Country team, which began practicing following finals. Eberhart competed in cross country during the fall season of 2019-2020.

She is “a little worried” about participating in athletics during the pandemic, but looks forward to returning to practices and meets and continuing to improve her running.

 “It feels refreshing to have an excuse to be outside and with people even if it’s a small group,” she said. “And it gives me an excuse to go out and exercise.”

Freshman Delsyn Beaton is competing with the golf team. Beaton, who played golf in seventh grade, decided to play this year because he enjoys the sport and wanted to participate in athletics not affected much by COVID-19.

“I mostly look forward to just playing and being able to do something during the pandemic,” he said.

Track and field and tennis, which have been approved to play by the state since guidelines released in December, will have their first competitions on April 21 and April 20, respectively. The track and field schedule is unofficial, Athletic Director Matt Vargo said.

Soccer and baseball were recently given a green-light in Sacramento county on March 2 following a drop in COVID-19 cases. Vargo said it is likely soccer will have games beginning in April while Baseball will start competing in May.

The Sac-Joaquin section granted its leagues autonomy from the California Interscholastic Federation at the beginning of February, allowing the leagues within the section to make sports schedules separate from the state-wide federation. This means sports not scheduled until late spring can begin early if the leagues follow county health guidelines.

On Dec. 14, California released guidelines of which sports can play at a county’s COVID-19 tier.

These guidelines were amended on Feb. 19 when it was announced that all outdoor sports could resume in counties with 14 or fewer COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people, regardless of tier status. If a county reaches this mark and then sees a spike in COVID-19 cases later, it would not be required to shut down sports.

As of March 2, Sacramento County had 12 cases per day per 100,000 people. Two weeks prior, it had 18.7.

The state recommends that athletes are limited to one sport at a time. The school has decided to make this recommendation a rule, Vargo said.

Swimming and diving, which is eligible to start under current regulations, does not have a set schedule. County regulation limits all competitions to two teams only. Country Day swimmers competed as a third-party with other schools in the past. Vargo said it will be tough to schedule a few dual meets for the swimming and diving team.

Other sports, such as cross country, track and field and golf are also affected by the two-team only rule.

Indoor sports do not fall under the new guidelines. Volleyball will not start until the county passes into the orange tier. Basketball must wait until the yellow tier. Currently, Sacramento County is in the purple tier. It has been there for nearly the entire pandemic.

County metrics on COVID-19, such as the number of positive cases per day per 100,000 people, can be found here.

All athletes must be cleared to be on campus to participate in sports. This means athletes who are tested frequently enough to attend school in person, but choose to stay remote, can still compete.

— By Ethan Monasa

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