In March, 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of our schools and athletic programs, I made the decision to no longer publish monthly Messages from the Commissioner as I had done for the previous 9 years I have served as Commissioner of Athletics for the Southern Section. I realized that information needed to be distributed more rapidly to our member schools and all our stakeholders as it would be vitally important to keep everyone closely connected to our organization. Therefore, once we entered this most difficult time in our history, I shifted the focus away from Messages from the Commissioner to Southern Section Updates that would be published as needed with the latest developments in the ever-changing landscape that we were experiencing during that period. We have published 28 Southern Section Updates since March 2020, but today, I am glad to say that I am back with a Message from the Commissioner!
With the completion of our Southern Section Season 2 Championships this past weekend, and the close of the 2020-2021 school year, I would like to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.
Where We Have Been – When we announced the 2020-2021 CIF-SS Sports Calendar back in July 2020, we believed it was the only way that we would be able to have every sport played during the 2020-2021 school year. With two seasons of sport instead of three and the effort to have full regular seasons, along with Section Championships and CIF Regional/State Championships as well, we knew it was certainly a very ambitious plan. What resulted was something we should all be extremely proud of. With the tremendous dedication and commitment of our student-athletes and the unwavering leadership and guidance of our principals, athletic directors, coaches and officials, every sport was able to be conducted in 2020-2021. We have achieved something together that was unprecedented, and I am truly grateful to our entire staff for their efforts with the incredible amount of work involved that was necessary to make it all happen. For example, in Season 2 alone, from May 21 through June 19, we conducted championships in 19 sports for Boys and Girls with over 100 divisional champions crowned. Congratulations to all on a job well done!
Where We Are Going – As we look forward to the 2021-2022 school year, I have every expectation that our 2021-2022 CIF-SS Sports Calendar will begin on time, with the three seasons of sports that we are used to, Southern Section Championships in all sports, CIF Regional/State Championships too and full experiences in every sport that our student-athletes so richly deserve. We have learned many things over the past 15 months and those lessons will only be helpful to us as we proceed, and I have no doubt that we will be ready to go in August. It is going to be a short Summer, but I am sure you would agree with me that having the opportunity to serve young people is a most noble endeavor and something we are prepared to resume soon. I know you join me in approaching the 2021-2022 school year with optimism and excitement for what lies ahead.
That’s a wrap for 2020-2021! Enjoy a well-deserved break and I will be back at the end of July with a preview for 2021-2022.
As always, I sincerely thank you for your continued help and support, it is truly appreciated.