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Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Schools activities, athletics have avoided any COVID disruptions

The effects of coronavirus will always be somewhere in the background of our everyday lives, after more than two years of disruption beginning in March 2020. Nowhere was that more evident than in the education field, where schools completely closed down from on-campus learning through much of 2020. Most had no or limited campus interaction until into the 2021-22 school year, when on-campus instruction returned amid masking and heavy testing protocols.
With the majority of students, faculty and staff being vaccinated, normalcy started to return to schools in our region and country last year. But there remained instances of outbreaks on campuses, postponement or cancellation of extracurricular activities including athletics.
At least through one month, that apparently hasn’t been an issue in the 2022-23 school year. In the Central Section, there have been no football games postponed or rescheduled and there have been no reported disruption of any other fall sports. COVID hasn’t seemed to be an issue with any other extracurricular activities.
Heat? That been another matter. The unprecedented high temperatures approaching 110 degrees in early September were so intense that the Tri-County Conference (Reedley High and Immanuel High are members) postponed the week’s girls tennis, girls golf and water polo, along with some freshman football games that also were postponed from times when the heat was most intense. Postponements-cancellations also included some youth sports.
Varsity football also pushed back kickoffs to as late as 8:30 p.m. during the worst of the heat wave. Thankfully, all that appears to be past us as the Central Valley has enjoyed more traditional spring or fall temperatures the past week. Between COVID and the heat, athletic directors and administrators have dealt with unprecedented challenges.
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Those 90 degrees-plus high temperatures are returning this week, but the Dinuba community and visitors still should have much better conditions (both heat and air quality) to enjoy the four-day Raisin Day Harvest Festival Sept. 22-25.
It was good to see the Fresno Street Eats organizers come to Reedley on Sept. 16, setting up food trucks and bringing a taste of that organization’s popular event to the city. Pioneer Park soon will be busy with crowds of people gathering for the two-day Reedley Fiesta early next month.
Jon Earnest is news-sports editor for The Times.

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