We recently had the opportunity to talk with THS Athletic Director Joe Farley to give us an update on our 2021 athletic teams. Here is what he shared.
Question: Coach Farley we understand that CIF has divided high school athletic teams into groups that will be allowed to compete once they are in a certain color range based on the state risk level. Can you share with us which sports are in which color range?
Coach Farley: First, it is the state not CIF that has divided the sports teams into different colored tiers.
Purple – Cross country, swim and dive, track and field, tennis, and golf.
Red – Baseball, softball, and sideline cheer
Orange – Football, Soccer, and Volleyball
Yellow – Basketball
Question: How does the governor’s stay at home order affect athletics and a return to competition?
Coach Farley: The stay at home order restricts against teams competing in contests. We must, as a region, move off of the stay at home order in order to have any competitions.
Question: Which sports are currently practicing or conditioning?
Coach Farley: Currently, cross country, baseball, and softball are all practicing. We are hoping to get the remaining sports that are in the purple tier to begin practicing before the end of January.
Question: What safety precautions/ requirements have been implemented?
Coach Farley: We have an extensive return to athletics plan that has been approved by the school board and can be found on the reopening website. Some highlights of the plan include; a daily screening by coaches and athletes, promoting the use of masks and physical distancing of greater than 6′, limiting participation to one team, and practicing in small groups within the team.
Question: Have there been any decisions made regarding having fans when/if our teams are able to compete?
Coach Farley: In regards to fans and live crowds we will follow all state guidelines when it comes to that time.
Question: If fans can’t be in person to watch competitions is there a plan to allow them to watch over the internet?
Coach Farley: I am excited about a project I have been working on since beginning this position over the summer. We are working on offering a live streaming service to families, student body, community members, supporters, and anyone interested in THS Athletics. I will provide more details when the project is complete, but it is something I am very happy to offer!
Question: I’m sure that county Athletic Directors have been meeting. Anything you can share from those meetings?
Coach Farley: The Athletic Directors from the whole CCAA meet every month in person and also informally throughout by phone. A lot of collaboration is done in those meetings and a large part of the board approved plan was completed with the CCAA ADs. We are always looking for ways to bring back sports in a safe manner that will have the greatest impact on the most student-athletes possible. We are in uncharted waters with this pandemic, but we are navigating this as a collective group and ensuring that everyone is following the same rules and operating procedures.
Question: If you could share one message with our athletes what would it be?
Coach Farley: I would share first and foremost, myself and TUSD Administration are working tirelessly to bring all sports teams back in a safe manner. I would also share with our student-athletes that there is no better time than right now to try a sport that you have never attempted before. We have many purple tier sports that are about to begin practicing that generally have low student engagement/involvement. These sports are fun, challenging, and competitive. If you never thought about being a multi-sport athlete or trying a new sport I would encourage you to strongly consider a “purple tier” sport. We have a great coaching staff for all of these sports and they are all excited about the possibility of seeing more student-athletes trying out than ever before. Lastly (sorry this is not one message), I would share that if anyone has questions regarding THS Athletics, I encourage them to look online at THS Athletics, email your coach, or email myself at email@example.com. I look forward to continuing great things put in place by Coach Franklin and expanding the athletic programs.
In his first year as Athletic Director Coach Farley is doing a great job helping to get our athletic program ready for a return to sports at THS. We appreciate how active he has been in meeting with elected officials, league and CIF representatives and how well he is representing our athletes, coaches and our community as he fights to give our athletes an opportunity to compete. You can see updates on the THS Athletics page. You will also find links to individual sports. https://templetonhs.schoolloop.com/Athletics.