Hart District: high school athletes can now condition with their teams

Canyon quarterback Aydyn Litz drops back for a pass in a scrimmage against Ventura on Aug. 16, 2019. Haley Sawyer/The Signal
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Santa Clarita Valley high school athletes can now start conditioning with their teams as soon as next week, William S. Hart Union High School District officials announced Monday. 

The Foothill League, which oversees high school sports and includes the Canyon, Castaic, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch high schools, is set to commence fall workouts come Monday, Sept. 21. 

“The league wants to support the wellness of our student athletes by providing fitness and conditioning opportunities that fit within the LADPH (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health) protocol,” Mariane Doyle, director of Human Resources, Equity Services and Athletics at the Hart District, wrote in a prepared statement.

The announcement comes after California Interscholastic Federation officials said in late July, “The CIF has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-21 season will begin with a modified season of sport schedule.” All sports are now split into two seasons rather than three, joining sports such as volleyball, cross-country, football and competitive cheer under “fall sports.” 

Spring sports, such as baseball, softball, track-and-field and those considered “winter sports” like basketball and soccer, are all expected to follow once the protocol has been implemented successfully with fall sports, Hart District officials said in a news release. 

Member schools have started on-campus conditioning workouts after updated safety protocols issued by Public Health, which currently allow for conditioning only. 

“All youth sporting events, including tournaments, events or competitions are not permitted at this time,” reads the current Public Health officer order around player and coach safety. 

Under Public Health guidelines all activities must be conducted outdoors in groups of 5 to 10 people with self-certification screening, frequent hand washing or sanitizing and social distancing of 8 feet or more during strenuous activity. Masks are expected to be worn by all, including coaches, when not engaged in activity and equipment will not be shared among two or more people. Visitors or spectators will also be prohibited. 

Officials said participation is voluntary for all athletes, coaches and staff, and non-participation “will not negatively impact the student athlete or staff member in any way.” 

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