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Summer softball season over as fall high school campaign approaches

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

Now that the summer travel and recreation softball seasons have come to an end for the Artesia Punishers and the Cerritos Girls Softball Association, it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming 2016-2017 academic school year. The first day of school for John Glenn and Norwalk High will be on Aug. 17 while Artesia, Cerritos, Gahr, Valley Christian and Whitney High Schools will begin classes on Aug. 29.

Beginning with the Aug. 12 issue and leading up to the first full Friday night of games, I will be having my yearly football previews, beginning with the Artesia and Cerritos previews. I will then have two more schools in each of the next two issues after that, followed by the girls volleyball previews.

The week zero slate of games for are teams, which will be on Aug. 26, will be Pioneer High at Artesia, Gahr at Valley Christian, Magnolia High at Glenn and Norwalk at El Rancho High. Cerritos, which will play a nine-game schedule, will have its season opener at Bolsa Grande High on Sept. 2. For those who follow me on Twitter, I will be covering the Gahr at Valley Christian game.

The first girls volleyball matches for all of the schools will vary but will start as early as Aug. 24 when Gahr hosts La Salle High and V.C. is home to California High.

There will be a new look for all of the sports this season as the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section has regrouped its playoff divisions to bring more balance and equity for everyone. I will be sitting down with CIF-SS Commissioner of Athletics Rob Wigod next week to discuss this, as well as other topics, but in a nutshell, teams will no longer have to stay with their respective leagues once playoffs begin.

For example, Norwalk and Valley Christian football are now in Division nine along with 27 other schools, Gahr in Division 10 with 37 other schools, Artesia is one of 46 schools in Division 12 and Cerritos and Glenn are two of the 84 schools in Division 13.

Also on the horizon for the CIF-SS will be new beginning and ending dates for all of its athletic contests beginning in the 2018-2019 academic school year. In two years, the week zero game will begin on Aug. 17 with the last game taking place before Halloween and the divisional finals to be held Nov. 23 and 24.

That also means the winter and spring seasons will also begin and end earlier than what we have been accustomed to for many years. The first regular season basketball and soccer games will begin as early as Nov. 12, 2018 and end either Jan. 31 or Feb. 1 while the track and field state finals will take place before Memorial Day. Again, more on all of the changes will be detailed following my interview with Commissioner Wigod.