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UPDATED: Friday, March 13 3:30 p.m.
By Zach Cavanagh
While professional sports seasons have been suspended and college seasons and tournaments around the county have been cancelled, there have been effects on the youth and high school sports community in Southern California due to precautions of COVID-19.
Locally, the San Juan Capistrano Little League has suspended its season and hopes to resume full activities on April 6. The SJCLL represents San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point. Dana Point Youth Baseball has also suspended activities until April 6. San Clemente Little League is suspending its season through Capistrano Unified School District’s spring break, April 6-10.
The Southern California Volleyball Association has postponed all events through March 22. The SCVA includes San Clemente Volleyball Club, as well as 949 Athletics and SoCal Spitfires in San Juan Capistrano.
On the high school level, the CIF-Southern Section has directed its member schools to take their cues from their local school districts.
On Thursday, the Capistrano Unified School District, which includes San Clemente, Dana Hills and San Juan Hills high schools, cancelled all athletic events and competitions through spring break to Monday, April 13. Practices will continue without spectators.
“This is becoming a day-to-day, evolving situation,” San Clemente athletic director Jon Hamro said on Wednesday, “I know our District is keeping everyone informed through daily communication with the Orange County Health Care Agency monitoring the status of COVID-19 in our community and any connection to our school sites.”
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Capistrano Unified School District.
The neighboring Saddleback Valley Unified School District has cancelled all sports and activities until further notice on Thursday. The SVUSD high schools of Laguna Hills, El Toro, Mission Viejo and Trabuco Hills are all members of the South Coast and Sea View Leagues, which the CUSD schools make up the other part of.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano will begin an organized school closure on Monday, March 16 with an online model beginning on Tuesday, March 17, the school announced on Thursday. The closure includes the cancellation or postponement of athletic activities. St. Margaret’s said this is a proactive measure, and there is no indication of cases of COVID-19 in their community.
Capistrano Valley Christian School will also enact a two-week closure from the end of the school day on Friday, March 13. CVCS said that in concert with other teams in its league, which includes St. Margaret’s and Saddleback Valley Christian School, all athletic events will be suspended during the two-week closure. There are no known cases of the coronavirus in the CVCS community.
Saddleback Valley Christian School enacted a two-week school closure on Friday, March 13. SVC will suspend athletic events for the two-week period. There are no cases of coronavirus in the SVCS community.
JSerra Catholic High School announced on Friday, March 13 it would close on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 to develop online program. Online classes will begin on Wednesday, March 18 through April 30 All athletic practices and games will be suspended for at least two weeks. There are no cases of COVID-19 in the JSerra community.
The noted Boras Classic high school baseball tournament that was set to begin at JSerra on April 14 has been cancelled.
The biggest event that has been hit in the state so far is the CIF State Basketball Championships, which were cancelled on Thursday, March 12 ahead of the scheduled games in Sacramento on March 13-14. This is the first CIF state championship event cancelled due to an outside situation since the 1945 state track meet was not held due to World War II, according to Cal-Hi Sports.
Follow our social media channels and South OC Sports to stay up to date on local event cancellations due to the novel coronavirus.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.