Right now nothing is guaranteed with high school athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pierce High School, of Colusa County, was the latest mid-valley school to have a wrinkle thrown into the Friday night schedule when Athletic Director Michael Barber was informed Thursday that the Pierce-Clear Lake junior varsity football game would be canceled due to at least four or five Clear Lake players testing positive for COVID -19.
Clear Lake JV, which Barber said only has about 18 players, is forced to quarantine for 10 days, As a result, the Pierce varsity game has been moved to 6 p.m. at home against Clear Lake.
Pierce comes in 0-1 after a loss to Orland last week.
Barber said so far the Pierce JV and varsity teams have been fortunate to not yet cancel games due to COVID-19, in part, to a bigger roster. Barber said the varsity stands at about 45 players, while JV is running at 55.
Larger rosters are in a better position when at least one player tests positive, Barber said.
“(One player) doesn’t have close contact with all 50 people,” Barber said.
Once a player comes back COVID positive, contact tracing begins – which is essentially tracking a player’s movement.
Barber said each district has the authority over how it moves forward after a player tests positive.
But the goal, Barber said, is to not shut down.
“We would try and contact trace (to) see if we can keep going,” he said.
To date, at least five mid-valley schools have had games canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19.
Marysville (1-1) at Oroville (0-0)
Marysville is on the road for the first time this season as it travels to Oroville to take on the Tigers at 7:30 p.m.
First-year head coach Jordan Holmes said Marysville is healthy with a full roster. At this point, Holmes said he is not trying to throw too much at the players given that he has only been with the team for six weeks.
“I am seeing great effort and we appreciate it,” Holmes said. “We came in and took what they were taught from the previous coaching staff and made it our own. It’s more of us as a coaching staff adjusting things to make it work. We make it easy (and) fun so they come out, play fast and have a good time.”
Yuba City (0-1) at Pleasant Valley (0-0)
After back-to-back cancellations with Lincoln, Yuba City is set to return to the gridiron to tackle Pleasant Valley in Chico at 7:30 p.m.
YC is 1-2 against PV since 2018. The last time the two teams met in Chico PV won 32-12. YC earned the last victory between the schools, 14-7, at Honker Stadium last spring during the COVID-modified season.
First-year head coach Willie Burns said game planning against a team like PV is always centered around size.
“The good thing about us is we have been working to get bigger and stronger and be able to play against a big, physical team,” Burns said. “Our boys are excited and ready, especially after the cancellations.”
Live Oak (0-0) at Lindhurst (0-0)
Fresh off last week’s COVID-related cancelation, Live Oak is set to travel to Olivehurst Friday to take on Lindhurst in the season opener for both teams at 7:30 p.m.
Live Oak last played during the spring of 2021 when it finished 0-3. Lindhurst hasn’t played a down of football since 2019.
Lindhurst Athletic Director Bob Jensen said Dean Miller Stadium is open to full capacity with no restrictions or mandates at the moment.
Jensen said Lindhurst has had one athlete test positive for COVID-19, but with contact tracing that did not lead to a cancelation on the side of the Blazers.
Varsity kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Colusa (1-0) at Central Valley (2-0)
The RedHawks hit the road to take on Central Valley of Shasta Lake, looking to go 2-0 this year under first-year head coach Mikey Badaluco.
Last week, Colusa defeated Mount Shasta, 25-8.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Gridley (0-0) at Willows (0-0), 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to open their season at Willows Friday.
Gridley last played during the spring modified season when it went 4-1.
All games are subject to change due to COVID-19.