July of 2021 was a intermission to instrumentality a heavy breath.
The CIF Southern Section and its schools had conscionable travel done an unprecedented period, cramming an full schoolhouse year’s worthy of diversion contention into 5 months portion adhering to COVID-19 protocols and weirdly timed seasons – an wholly antithetic explanation of “spring football,” for illustration – and forging collaboration and statement successful bid to survive.
So, I asked Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod astatine the commencement of our accepted August sitdown interview, however assured was helium that things could backmost to a mean authorities successful 2021-22?
Or possibly I should person rephrased it. Can determination beryllium specified a happening arsenic “normal” going forward, erstwhile schools are inactive dealing with corruption rates and investigating and crippled cancellations, arsenic happened to Mater Dei and Corona Centennial astatine the commencement of the shot season?
Normal is arsenic mean does. Wigod noted that the program was for a afloat regular schoolhouse year’s worthy of schedules, shot and girls volleyball and boys and girls transverse state successful their mean places connected the calendar, with the remainder to travel successful their due spots, with the indispensable protocols successful place.
But, helium acknowledged, there’s anticipation mixed into that plan. Outbreaks successful assorted schoolhouse districts already this period should beryllium a reminder of what we’re inactive dealing with.
“We each recognize determination whitethorn beryllium immoderate things that volition travel going forward,” Wigod said. “Hopefully (we’ll) support our programs viable, support them retired there, woody with the mitigation that we whitethorn person to woody with, but not spot ourselves unopen down our schools oregon our sports programs.”
That said, getting done the accent and uncertainty of the past schoolhouse twelvemonth and being capable to springiness students that accidental to play, successful immoderate form, was an accomplishment that should ne'er beryllium minimized. Instead of consternation astir who gets the gym erstwhile oregon however galore buses to reserve oregon which manager gets which multi-sport athlete, coaches and administrators recognized the greater extremity and made it work.
“Between May 21st and June 19th, we had 19 sports for boys and girls going on,” Wigod said. “We had implicit 100 divisional champions crowned and implicit 2,000 playoff games that took place. That each speaks to the level of practice (and) collaboration … If you’re truly trying to support student-athletes archetypal and springiness them opportunities, (to) bash everything you tin for them, past you’re flexible. You are going to beryllium much open-minded. You’re going to effort to marque it enactment wherever and erstwhile you could marque it work.
“… Our student-athletes didn’t request to perceive astir however hard it was going to be. They’ve been done enough. They don’t request to cognize astir however it’s each being done. They conscionable privation to play, and let’s bash our occupation arsenic the adults. Let’s bash everything we request to do. We don’t request to marque a clump of sound astir it. And let’s travel done and present for the student-athletes. And I deliberation that’s what we did.”
That can-do, let’s-collaborate tone astir apt volition proceed connected campus. Will it filter down to parents successful each cases? Wigod said helium wanted to judge “that there’s a heightened appreciation for education-based athletics,” but that mightiness alteration the archetypal clip somebody’s kid gets benched.
On different note, you tin beryllium beauteous definite the griping volition statesman successful earnest aft the shot games of Oct. 29. That volition beryllium the last Friday of the regular season, and soon aft that the newest point successful the Southern Section’s toolbox volition beryllium unveiled.
Remember competitory equity, the playoff bracketing strategy that utilized caller years’ results to effort to lucifer teams connected comparatively adjacent footing? This twelvemonth it goes to the adjacent level. The brackets volition beryllium based solely connected this season’s performance, which is wherever the strategy was expected to extremity up each along.
It has been utilized to a grade successful idiosyncratic sports similar swimming and tennis, and Wigod said existent results were utilized to prime Division 1 successful boys and girls h2o polo. But shot is the large trial and astir apt the perfect one, since it lone works if each effect is reported successful a timely fashion. If it works successful football, it volition beryllium utilized successful different sports arsenic well.
“If you’re going to usage existent regular season, you can’t permission immoderate crippled out,” Wigod said. “That could perchance alteration powerfulness rankings (and) wherever radical belong.”
The weekly conception powerfulness rankings connected calpreps.com volition beryllium the last word, based connected records and strengths of schedules. At the extremity of the regular season, the archetypal 16 connected that database volition spell into Division 1, the adjacent 16 into Division 2, the 16 aft that into Division 3 and truthful on. With 14 divisions, that’s 224 retired of 375 teams playing 11-man shot who volition suffice for the postseason.
The numbers don’t prevarication and determination shouldn’t beryllium consternation, but possibly from immoderate coaches who person gotten utilized to anticipating imaginable playoff opponents and present person to recalibrate. But determination whitethorn beryllium immoderate disorder among the public. Imagine your squad winning a league title but having to unfastened connected the roadworthy against a runner-up from a stronger league. Or aggregate conception champions from a peculiar league.
Or, say, a Mater Dei-St. John Bosco matchup earlier the conception finals. It astir apt won’t hap but it could, due to the fact that it volition beryllium No. 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, etc., based strictly connected the powerfulness rankings. Those who person been pursuing on volition get it, but …
“I’m definite there’ll beryllium immoderate radical who aftermath up connected Bracket Day, instrumentality a look astatine our bracketing and go, ‘Oh, this can’t beryllium right,’ ” Wigod said.
Of course determination will. Some mightiness adjacent beryllium St. John Bosco oregon Mater Dei fans.
But possibly immoderate folks should beryllium reminded that determination is life, and tons of it, beyond Division 1. Wigod recalled a speech with a manager who pointed to the banners successful his gym and, noting that they each said Southern Section champions, said: “Nobody cares what part number’s connected there.”
“I tin lone say, erstwhile you spot those celebrations and you spot them ordering their title rings and you spot them putting the banner up successful the gym, it doesn’t substance what part it is,” Wigod said.
In different words, each conception championships are created equal.
@Jim_Alexander connected Twitter