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The wait is finally over. The long awaited athletic season at LPC will finally commence after a near one year hiatus. On Dec. 24, The California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) announced the full list of schools that have announced their participation in this year’s athletic season. LPC is planning to opt-in to all sports for both men and women’s teams. 

The long offseason was filled with uncertainty. There were rumors of a season that would take place in January, but nothing was officially announced. Players and coaches were left to stand by and get players ready for a season that might not happen.

Now that coaches have a clear understanding of when their season will start, they can start to prepare their players for the season ahead.

“LPC has opted in and hopes to compete this Spring,” said Athletic Director and men’s basketball coach James Giacomazzi in a tweet.

This year’s athletic season is completely optional for schools. Many colleges have opted out for the safety of players and staff. 

On the basketball side, 30 teams across the state have opted in, including the entire Coast-North conference with the exceptionFoothill College.

A season was rumored to start in January, but a recent spike in COVID-19 cases over the 2020 holidays presumably halted those plans indefinitely. The season will run from Mar. 1 to Apr. 17. All other sports at LPC have announced their return, but there has been no official word on what their season will look like. 

“We’ve been waiting for a while, I’m just happy to get back to the gym,” said second-year basketball player Yatyn Anderson

According to the CCCAA guidelines, players can have contact with players and coaches can have contact with coaches through Jul. 1, but physical contact between players and coaches is not permitted. 

“We have been doing everything outside so far with players wearing masks and social distancing,” said Coach Giacomazzi in November. 

Though this announcement is huge for players and coaches, there are still several unknown factors that have not been announced. The Association has not put forward a protocol for how games will be played. For now,  who gets to be in the gym or on the field when games resume remains a mystery. There hasn’t been a player mask mandate announced, but in some areas of the country, players are required to wear masks while in action. 

There has also not been an announcement on testing and what would happen if any particular team were to have a COVID-19 outbreak, although LPC has been doing weekly testing according to athletes on the soccer teams. In Division One college athletics, games are usually rescheduled, but with such a short season there may not be time for teams to reschedule their games.

As the week’s inch closer to March, there will likely be more announcements to come forward on what the season will look like. Though there are unknowns, athletes will get to play a season after a long offseason. Coaches and staff will finally get their teams ready for the season as a Mar. 1 will be the first day of competition for each individual team.

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