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JUCO association reveals plan for 2020-21 academic year
Bulletin college football 2018
Former East Union standout Jack Weaver scrambles out of the pocket during a Modesto Junior College football game against Laney College in 2018. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

The ball is now in the court of state health officials, as far as the California Community College Athletic Association is concerned.

On Friday, the CCCAA Board of Directors unanimously approved three different schedules that would include all sports for 2020-21. One of those plans devised by the CCCAA COVID-19 Working Group would move football to the early spring.

Under all three proposals, basketball takes place in the spring instead of the winter, schedules for every sport will be reduced and seasons will conclude with regional championships — meaning no overall state championships. 

Bulletin college football 2018
Modesto Junior College receiver Jonah Lewis, a Ripon Christian product, tries to break free from a tackle against Delta College in a 2018 contest. - photo by SEAN KAHLER
The Board will decide on which path to take on July 17, and it is contingent on where the state is in its four-phrase reopening from the coronavirus lockdown. The state has given individual counties the go-ahead to begin shifting into stage 3 of the process as early as this Friday.

Spring sports at the high school and college levels were shut down in March. Modesto Junior College professor and coach Demitrius Snaer, a Manteca resident, said he and his athletes “just want to get back to sports.” The CCCAA offers a glimmer of hope with its latest announcement.

“I think it's all preliminary,” said Snaer, who coaches cross country and track and field for the Pirates. “Obviously, for us we'd be very, very happy with any of that, unfortunately — and I'm sure all other schools have this issue — we're still under the guidelines our counties give us.

“MJC, as of right now, has not decided on what's happening in the fall as far as classes and sports go. We haven't closed the door on it yet, but so far we haven't been given a final say on what's going to be happening with that.”

The CCCAA refers to its plans B, C and D as Conventional, Contact/Non-Contact and Contingency. 

The Conventional plan would most closely mirror the CCCAA's normal sports schedule. This would require for the state to be in its fourth and final phase of reopening. 

Cross country, football, women's golf, soccer, women's volleyball, water polo and wrestling would all take place in the fall, with practices beginning Aug. 31. Competitions for all sports except football start on Sept. 11, while football kicks off Sept. 26. 

The spring season is comprised of all remaining sports: badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, men's golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track, men's volleyball. Practice begins on Feb. 15 and live competition on March 1. 

The Conventional plan allows for up to 75% of the usual maximum number of contests permitted. For example, the football season goes from 10 regular-season games and one scrimmage down to eight games and one scrimmage. For the other two plans, 70% of competitions will be played.

The Contact/Non-Contact proposal will be implemented if the state is in phase 3 of reopening. This plan will allow minimal-contact sports cross country, women's golf, swimming and diving and women's volleyball to be played in the fall with the same start and end dates as the Conventional plan. 

The remaining sports will be part of a two-part spring season. Basketball, football, soccer, water polo and wrestling start competition on Feb. 13 and end on April 17. The second spring season — badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, men's golf, softball, tennis, track and men's volleyball — begins on April 10 and concludes with regional championships on June 23.

Falls sports would be limited to only cross country and women's golf under the Contingency plan, which is enacted if the state remains in phase 2. Swim and dive would be moved to the first cluster of spring sports, while women's volleyball joins the second.

“Anything is better than nothing, at this point,” Snaer said. “We're willing to work with the school and CCCAA to at least make sports happen this year.”