Soccer

Following the announcement of a modified high school sports calendar for the 2020-21 school year by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) on Monday, July 20, which essentially pushed back the start of high school sports until December (see related story here), some local youth sports programs that typically play in the fall announced plans for their upcoming seasons.

The Motherlode Valley Football League, which includes the Amador Junior Buffaloes, Argonaut Junior Mustangs and Calaveras Junior Reds, held a board meeting Monday night and voted to follow the CIF calendar, postponing the start of the 2020 season until December.

“Although there are many unknowns at this time, we are moving forward with the modified season and will keep you updated as we receive new information,” Argonaut Junior Mustangs President Lance Roberts said in a letter to Junior Mustang families. “We hope to have a new draft schedule by the time school reopens in late August.”

While the Junior Mustangs have opted in to the modified season, Calaveras Junior Reds President Rob Dart said in a post on the Junior Reds Facebook page on Wednesday that some programs in the MVFL have already opted out of the 2020 season.

“The logistics of winter football, as well as coordinating facilities will be a challenge,” Dart said, adding that the Calaveras Junior Reds board will look at the many different factors, most notably safety, over the coming weeks before deciding whether or not to opt in or out of the 2020 season.

The Amador Junior Buffaloes program has not made a public announcement as of yet on whether or not it will take part in the modified season.

One of the most popular youth sports is soccer, but in the wake of the CIF’s announcement on Monday, the Calaveras Youth Soccer League announced that it was cancelling its fall 2020 rec league season.

“We had been trying to create a safe return to play policy for a modified season,” CYSL President Nathan Gomes said in a letter to CYSL families. “Unfortunately with a rise of COVID numbers in our county, there is no immediate plans by the county or state to allow youth sports to return, as well as any plans by CUSD to allow field usage. We had hoped that CIF would have a positive announcement (Monday) that would lead to opening the doors for youth sports throughout the state. Unfortunately, all doors seem to be closed for a return this season. We hope to see you all next year for an amazing season.”

The Mother Lode Youth Soccer League, which serves Amador County, is holding out hope for its fall 2020 rec league season, but the decision on whether to play or not is not up to the league at this point.

“We have been working tirelessly to make sure our kids have a soccer season this year and we are all ready to start the season,” MLYSL President Lucas Whitlock said. “The only delay at this time is the Amador County Public Health Department has not given the MLYSL the green light to start the season. Unfortunately, if we do not receive approval by August 12, we will have to cancel our 2020 soccer season. We are praying the kids get to play, not only for the physical activity, but for their mental and emotional well-being.”