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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Spring season sports underway as athletic directors still working to find non-league contests


By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

March 18, 2021

It’s been so long since Cerritos High, and other high schools across the Southland, hasn’t had any sporting events. In fact, co-athletic director Robert Adams can’t remember the last event the Dons had before schools were shut down last March 12.

The last game for the Cerritos softball team was Mar. 5 and the last baseball game was Mar. 9 while badminton, boys golf, swimming, boys tennis, track and field and boys volleyball, the other spring season sports, had events scheduled the week of Mar. 9-13.

The same is true for a lot of high schools, especially the public ones, but when Cerritos hosted a 605 League cross country time trial race last Saturday, there were plenty of smiles on the faces of the athletes, athletic directors, coaches and other school personnel.

“It’s great to have the kids back on campus to see their enthusiasm and do that stuff,” said Cerritos High co-athletic director Robert Adams. “Obviously, some of the remote training has worked, at least for some of our athletes and I look forward to seeing [the cross country team] run against Gahr [on Wednesday].”

For months, athletic directors have been putting together master league schedules in addition to their own school’s spring sports schedules in conjunction with the dates put together by CIF-Southern Section when it released the athletic calendar last July. Even when the CIF-SS gave schools the green light to start what was left of the winter season and proceed with the spring season, athletic directors all around have been adding and deleting non-league events day to day.

“The most frustrating thing athletically related is the constant change and updates and planning,” Adams said. “Since we started really working on some sort of return to activity starting in late May-early June last year, there’s an awful lot of spending hours and hours and hours to make a set of plans that four days later are obsolete and have to be adjusted. I’m thankful that it’s starting to smooth out. It’s not avoidable; it’s an unavoidable issue that we have that happen because if we don’t do some of the planning, then we’re way too far behind.”

While high school athletes have returned to play for the tail end of the fall season and the remainder of the condensed spring season, there is still a lot of planning ahead for the summer months and into the 2021 fall season, which figures to start on time and as early as Aug. 14 with girls volleyball.

Adams thinks that part of the frustration is going to be how quickly do schools move back towards what everyone wants, which is some type of normalcy. He added that the closer it gets to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the difficulty level rises, including the summer, in which there are still a lot of unknowns.

“They’re not quite as extensive as the unknowns of last June,” he continued. “But they are extensive for us to be able to try to figure out how do we get the school to start operating again. Basically, operating a school along with an athletic department in a completely different way…how close to the way we were doing it before are we going to transition back? I’m sure it will not go all the way back.”

Another obstacle that Adams and Cerritos will face for the next three months, which has been one of the biggest hurdles all along, is transportation. Even though teams won’t have as full of a schedule they’re used to, there are more sports in the spring season as the CIF-SS put the traditional winter sports-boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer and wrestling-in the spring season. Adams said that transportation is still a difficulty because of the density issues and needs the community and families of the athletes to be open-minded with and try to help out whenever they can. He added that at Cerritos, it hasn’t been too big of an issue yet, but cautioned that it will get more complicated before it improves as the ABC Unified School District begins to bring the elementary students back to the classroom and eventually the middle and high school students.

While the CIF-SS cancelled its fall sports championships in December, it appears that the spring sports will have an opportunity to play for a championship in May and June. But, when it comes to the 605 League, Adams said it will not declare any league champions for any sport this year.

“Obviously, though, if there is CIF competition, seeded teams have to be submitted,” Adams said. “I think it’s going to be a combination of [non-league] play and probably [league] just to confirm that what we are looking at in results of the different sports match up what the 605 League feels is appropriate to submit as CIF sports.”


A few area schools will play their first football games within the next week highlighted by a Mar. 18 tilt between La Mirada High and Orange High. The Matadors went 7-4 in the 2019 season, finishing in second place in the Suburban League and falling to Downey High 12-7 in the first round of the Division 4 playoffs. Orange won the Orange Coast League in 2019 and advanced to the Division 10 semifinals before the Panthers fell to Simi Valley High 30-14.

On Friday, Norwalk High, which went 3-7 in 2019 and finished in last place in the Suburban League, is scheduled to play a road game at Downey, the third place representative from San Gabriel Valley League in 2019. After knocking off La Mirada, the Vikings fell to Camarillo High 28-27 in the quarterfinals to end their season at 5-7.

Finally, Gahr High is scheduled to begin its season on Thursday against SGVL foe Dominguez High. The Gladiators went 3-8 and finished in fifth place before falling to Santa Barbara High 44-0 in the first round of the Division 8 playoffs.


Cerritos is scheduled to visit Valley Christian High on Saturday morning in baseball while La Mirada is scheduled to face Capistrano Valley Christian today before facing Long Beach Poly High on Monday, Lakewood High on Tuesday and La Serna High on Thursday.

In softball action, scheduled games include V.C. hosting Oxford Academy today and Cerritos on Tuesday before visiting Ontario Christian High on Wednesday, Gahr entertaining La Habra High on Tuesday and Murrieta Mesa High on Thursday and La Mirada facing South Hills High on Saturday, California High on Tuesday and Santa Fe High on Wednesday.


Gahr was scheduled to host V.C. on Mar. 18 while on Tuesday, Artesia High is scheduled to host Paramount High at Fedde Middle School. Two days later, the Pioneers are scheduled to be home against Buena Park High, also at Fedde while on Wednesday, V.C., off to 3-0-1 start after tying Mayfair High 1-1 this past Wednesday, is set to visit the Monsoons on Wednesday. Also, La Mirada, which shutout Troy High 1-0 this past Tuesday, is scheduled to visit Buena Park High on Tuesday and Sonora High on Thursday.


V.C., which tied Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa High 2-2 to go to 1-0-1 on the young season, is scheduled to visit Dominguez High today before scheduled home games with Mayfair on Tuesday and Crean Lutheran on Thursday. Also, on Tuesday, Artesia is scheduled to host Firebaugh High and Buena Park on Thursday. La Mirada blanked Millikan High 1-0 this past Monday and is scheduled to visit La Serna High on Mar. 18 and Warren High on Tuesday before facing La Habra High on Thursday.