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Garces Memorial cancels on-campus athletic conditioning, KHSD schools plan to remain closed

Garces Memorial High School
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 23:42:55-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Garces Memorial High School had started athletic conditioning last week but now officials have canceled all on-campus athletic conditioning until further notice. The school said it is shut down out of precaution over COVID-19.

The high school released a statement regarding this move: "Within the COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the State of California and Kern County Public Health Department, Garces Memorial High School has canceled all on-campus athletic conditioning until further notice."

"Since the opening up last Monday to fall sports and boys basketball, the health and safety of our student-athletes and coaches was of the utmost importance," the statement continued. "The guidelines with temperature checks of all coaches and players upon arriving on campus, complete social distancing while on campus and all coaches wearing masks while with student-athletes were adhered by all. However, there are Garces Memorial families that have been affected by COVID-19 that could directly impact the health and safety of our students and staff."

The statement concluded by saying "With extreme caution and the current spike of positive COVID-19 cases in Kern County, the Garces Memorial administration has elected to cancel all on-campus practices until further notice."

23ABC spoke with Garces's Sports Information Director Trevor Horn last week regarding safety.

"The number one importance is safety. Safety of everyone from our coaches to our administrators, and especially to our student-athletes. Just making them understand how safe they need to be."

Bakersfield Christian, the other private school in Kern County, plans to continue team workouts for select teams; boys and girls basketball, volleyball and cheer teams.

"We are doing workouts but continue to monitor on a daily basis all COVID-related issues," BCHS Athletic Director Blake Van Der Schaaf said.

Meanwhile, the Kern High School District, which accounts for 18 public high schools in the county, is planning on keeping campuses closed to all activities.

"Sports are very important, they are an important part of our kids’ education and they are an important part of our schools but at the end of the day, there not the most important thing, our kids' safety, and our communities’ safety is the most important thing," KHSD Director of School Support Services Stan Greene said.

Per conversations with some officials in the CIF, Greene believes that scholastic sports won't make a return until early next year.

"I get the feeling based on the conversations that I’ve had and the conversations I’ve heard that it’s clear we are going to move to January," Greene said.

Centennial's football coach, Richard Starrett, although eager to get back to a normal sports routine, he knows the importance of being cautious.

"Obviously, I’m itching to get back. I wish it wasn’t like this obviously but I’m keeping in contact through Zoom, I’m trying to make sure my kids are working out, I’m trying to do it the smart way and I’m trying to make sure our kids are still prepared when we do have that opportunity to play that we get to do that," Starrett said.

The CIF will rule on July 20th the future of a sports season this fall for all high schools in the state.