The presidents of the South Coast Conference (SCC) college unanimously made the decision to opt-out of the Spring 2 season on Friday for a second consecutive year, due to the fluctuating COVID-19 cases and concerns of other COVID variants.
Pasadena City College is one of the many colleges who competes in the SCC. The SCC includes other community colleges such as Mt. San Antonio, Cerritos College and El Camino. According to the SCC conference website, the SCC presidents have been meeting monthly, reviewing all the alternatives and data into making a decision.
The ongoing pandemic has put a lot of things on hold throughout the last 11 months. Dr. Endrijonas, who is the chair of the California Community College Athletic Association and the PCC Superintendent, based her decision on the safety of student-athletes.
“Based on the skyrocketing infection rates and the fact that Los Angeles County had determined that no community colleges could have athletics,” said Endrijonas. “We opted out of spring 1 back in December and based on current COVID conditions, we opted out of spring 2.”
The cancellation of the spring 2021 season wouldn’t be the first time the school has ended sports because of this situation. Just last year, right before spring student-athletes got ready to hit the track and softball fields, COVID-19 pandemic hit for the first time and in a huge way. Student-athletes are always coached to expect the unexpected, but COVID is bringing the old adage new meaning.
This is a decision that has huge amounts of impact on student athletes who are looking to transfer to 4-year universities for the upcoming fall semester.
According to Endrijonas, this is a decision that is on a school to school basis and that some junior colleges may choose to have sports during this spring season. This decision did not have to be unanimous and that depending on the county, regulations may vary as far as returning to sports.
Endrijonas also stated that the students who are enrolled in these different types of athletic programs have continued with their sports such as conditioning and competition courses,while doing it virtually.
“There is nothing more important than the safety and health of our athletes and coaches,” said Endrijonas.
For many people attending PCC, especially student-athletes, hope was in the air after the CCCAA formed a Working Group to discuss plans for having sports during this COVID-19 pandemic. There were decisions made at first from summer 2020 about the following season.
Olivia Ruiz, who is an up and coming track runner, had a lot of goals and expectations this year. After not being able to compete last year, she is looking for one more shot at impressing recruiters. Ruiz’s events include the 400 and 800-meters. In the meantime, Ruiz continues to workout throughout the week, such as doing 40-50 minute runs and a little bit of core workouts.
“I’m really sad about the cancellation of spring sports since I did not have a track season last year due to covid,” Ruiz said. “This is my last year at PCC so it is devastating knowing I may never compete before I leave.”
Ruiz, who has high hopes, is also being recruited by UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and UCLA. She is continuing to train during this lockdown and is hoping just to get better and better each day. She also plans to do her own time trials and races to stay in shape. Ruiz is just doing everything she can to give coaches something to see.
As of now, PCC spring athletics are indeed canceled. This is a very unfortunate time for many student-athletes, especially for the many second year student-athletes, or first year athletes who are seeking an early transfer out of PCC, like Ruiz. Those students will not have a season, for back to back years.