Two days before Gov. Gavin Newsom paved the way last week for the return of outdoor sports to high schools, Serra football coach Patrick Walsh had a message for the indoor sports community.
Get organized, said Walsh.
Walsh knew that an outdoor sports announcement was coming. And if the news fell in football’s favor, which it did on Friday, he and the hundreds of coaches who make up the Golden State High School football coaching community would suddenly spend time preparing their teams for a season, without spend countless hours convincing politicians. -makers in Sacramento.
“It has to be happening in other sports, especially indoor sports,” Walsh told Facebook Live listeners Wednesday night. “As the next 48 hours go by, once we get what, the next battle comes.”
The basketball community is answering Walsh’s call.
On Monday night, Miramonte’s Chris Lavdiotis hosted a Zoom video conference that brought together around 50 basketball coaches and an attorney who successfully represented two San Diego soccer players who pushed for the immediate reinstatement of youth sports. The call also included Jenna Carson, one of the main organizers of the Let Them Play CA movement.
For 90 minutes, the coaches discussed strategic plans and the effort it will take to achieve the same result Walsh and his group achieved for the football community.
Randy Bessolo, the boys’ basketball coach at the University of San Francisco, noted that the football coaches gave them the game plan. Now, he said, it’s up to the basketball coaches to bet on the football strategy, do the job themselves, and San Diego-like prosecutions themselves.
Bessolo added the importance of data collection, following Let Them Play CA’s apolitical message that a high school environment is safer for children than that of a club team.
Because indoor volleyball is a Season 1 sport this spring on the California Interscholastic Federation’s calendar, Bessolo said he hopes volleyball could pave the way for basketball, which is not expected until later in the year. spring.
Bessolo also said it was crucial for the basketball movement to involve parents, adding that “some mothers were ready to move mountains” for the soccer kids.
Carson, whose family is close to Walsh, joined the football movement in its early days this winter. Her husband, Craig, is a former basketball coach at McAteer and Menlo-Atherton and her brother-in-law, Brian Carson, is a basketball coach at Serra.
She told basketball coaches that complacency was not an option.
“If we do, we won’t play and basketball will be left out,” she said.
She told coaches that she heard a wide range of opinions from the basketball community, from those who believe there will be a season to others who say no.
“I think we’re somewhere in the middle,” Carson said. “I think 100% is possible. I believe we can mobilize and that the governor will approve basketball. But if we sit down and do nothing, it won’t happen on its own.
Being active on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, is vitally important because that’s where “the action is,” said Carson, an MA in education policy from Stanford.
“They want to hear from you,” she told the coaches. “The kids want to hear from you. Parents want to hear from you. … You are the inspiration and that’s who they want to play for.
Basketball and wrestling are among the yellow level sports in the state’s reopening system, which means the number of cases per 100,000 must reach <1 to reach that color. But Carson noted that football needed to reach <3 per 100 km before Newsom on Friday relaxed the guidelines for outdoor sports to <14 per 100 km.
“My fear is that everyone is saying it looks good, let’s wait and see,” Carson told coaches. “We never get to one. This is what yellow means.
Lou Richie, the boys’ basketball coach at Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland, has said he will support a return to the court when he is safe. He advocated for vaccination in the African American community, noting that he is scheduled for his second vaccine in early March, and told coaches he has had more than 20 family members catch COVID. -19.
Richie also said he hasn’t been at a gym since March 11, the day before his team’s NorCal Open Division Championship game against Sheldon-Sacramento was called off due to the virus.
“For me, I’m in no rush to get home,” Richie said. “(But) I feel a sense of urgency to help our children get what they can and their families.”