Santa Maria schools release plan for athletes’ return to physical activity

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 00:55:14-04

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District released a plan for their athletes to return to physical activity.

The plan will be a slow process for the first few weeks. The first step is to get the coaches up to date on the district’s plan.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction, and I think going slow is a good idea,” said Jeff Monteiro, Pioneer Valley Athletic Director.

Santa Maria, Righetti, and Pioneer Valley high schools will start allowing student-athletes back to campus on July 6, but major restrictions will be in place.

“(We need to) get it so the student-athletes understand they’ll be in pods of 10, there needs to be coaches present, and that we can’t have a lot of people on campus walking around,” said Monteiro. “It’s still going to be Righetti kids at Righetti, Santa Maria kids at Santa Maria, Pioneer at Pioneer.”

“There’s no physical contact between coaches and players, no physical contact between players and players; there’s no equipment, but they can use cones,” said Brian Wallace, Santa Maria Athletic Director.

One measure being taken is that coaches will have emergency thermometers at practices. The plan will make sure coaches are extremely cautious with their athletes in their return to campus.

“I like the idea. It’s a very slow process, but at the same time conscientious. We want our students, our athletes, our community at large, to feel safe in what we’re doing,” said Monteiro.

“That’s our number one priority; to show the kids that we’re still there for them,” said Wallace. “We’re doing everything we can to have a season, and we’re going to make sure that they’re prepared if that happens.”

This plan will be fluid; changes to county and state restrictions could mean modifications to what the athletic programs are able to do.

“We sense that people are very restless, want to get back to things that are normal, but also be aware that if things do spike that we need to be ready to shelve and get restarted,” said Monteiro.

The CIF plans to make an announcement regarding the fall season on July 20th.