APTOS—The Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League high school basketball season got underway last week. But the Aptos High boys and girls programs will have to wait a tad bit longer to get going after recent positive Covid-19 test results.
Aptos High Athletic Director Travis Fox said that the programs paused all basketball activities on April 17 to quarantine for 14 days, the recommended time a person who tests positive or is possibly exposed to someone with Covid-19 should stay home, according to Cal/OSHA Covid-19 guidelines.
“Our first thought is player safety,” he said. “We feel all guidelines and protocols were followed by [administration], coaches and players, and this is a reflection of the times we are living in.”
Aptos’ basketball and wrestling programs have participated in Covid-19 testing the past three weeks, shortly after indoor sports were allowed to return for practice. Valencia Color Lab has conducted testing for the student-athletes twice a week, depending when a team has to play.
“Due to confidentiality I can’t say too much more,” Fox said.
Fox said that they’re bummed for the students and coaches, but that the plan is to resume workouts and games at the end of next week on April 29.
Both programs will miss five games on their 2021 league schedules. Bruce Funk, coach of the Mariners’ girls team, said they were extremely disappointed to hear the news, especially after starting the season with a 2-0 record.
“But the team’s resilient and we’re now doing individual workouts by Zoom to stay in shape and be ready when we get to play,” he said.
SCCAL commissioner Bob Kittle told The Pajaronian that the league is working to reschedule games to the best of its ability. He said there won’t be any league-wide rescheduling, and any changes made will be on an individual basis.
“Kids’ safety is number one,” he said. “We’ll see what they come up with.”
The Mariners boys’ team lost five out of the 15 league games on its schedule along with a scrimmage against Half Moon Bay High on April 17.
Brian Bowyer, coach of the boys’ team, learned the news Friday afternoon. They were scheduled to begin the season Monday against Monte Vista Christian, but he alerted the group that the season was going to be on pause for the next two weeks.
“They were really looking forward to it, especially the seniors,” he said. “It just seems like another hurdle that was thrown their way that they’re just going to have to fight through.”
Fox said he hopes they can get through the season and make it to the league tournament. Plus, he mentioned there’s talks of the possibility of the return of the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Bowyer said that he hopes they can figure out a way to reschedule the missed games, but added that there are far more worse things going on at the moment than not being able to play basketball.
“If everything goes well, we’re still going to get 10 league games,” he said.