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NBL athletic directors deal with fire-ravaged fall sports schedules

Damage to Cardinal Newman High School caused by the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa, CA. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

KERRY BENEFIELD,

North Bay League official met for hours Saturday to hash out how to proceed with the remainder of the fall sports season in the wake of the deadly fires that have canceled school, destroyed campuses and killed 22 people in Sonoma County.

Modified schedules have been created with the input not only of athletic directors, but also coaches. Despite the extensive modification, at least two sports remain on tentative schedules depending on both air quality and, in the case of cross country, course conditions.

“It was a really emotional meeting,” said North Bay League commissioner Jan Smith Billing, who hosted the meeting at her home.

“There are a lot of kids that lost homes. There are teachers and coaches who lost homes,” she said. Officials tried to balance respect for school communities “without sacrificing the ability of other schools who are in a better (position) to play that game.”

Football was the trickiest to handle, she said, because competition is outside and teams cannot play more than one game a week. The games originally scheduled for Oct. 13 will not be rescheduled.

Officials created two schedules moving forward. If Santa Rosa City Schools allows its teams to compete this week despite having canceled all classes, the following games will be played Oct. 20 or Oct. 21: Rancho Cotate at Santa Rosa, Maria Carrillo at Ukiah, Cardinal Newman at Windsor and Montgomery at Casa Grande.

If Santa Rosa City Schools does not allow its teams to compete, the following games will take place Oct. 21: Ukiah at Rancho Cotate, Cardinal Newman at Windsor and Casa will seek a game with a local team that has a bye.

“The games that don’t include Santa Rosa City Schools will go on,” she said.

Smith Billing hoped to have an answer about participation from Santa Rosa City Schools by today.

All schools have athletic trainers who would monitor air quality, she said.

“If the air quality is poor we don’t want any of those kids playing,” she said.

Cardinal Newman, which suffered extensive damage to its campus on Old Redwood Highway, is planning to practice at El Molino High School in Forestville, according to Smith Billing. No other NBL high school suffered the level of damage incurred at Cardinal Newman.

The first round of NCS play is Nov. 10-11. NCS championship games are Dec. 1-2, Nor-Cal regionals are Dec. 8-9 and the CIF State Championship is Dec. 15-16.

Cross country

Meets scheduled for Oct. 11 will not be rescheduled.

The meets originally scheduled for Oct. 18 are being moved to Oct. 25: Rancho Cotate and Cardinal Newman at Ukiah; Casa Grande and Santa Rosa at Maria Carrillo; Windsor at Montgomery.

The meets originally scheduled for Oct. 25 have been moved to Nov. 1: Ukiah and Windsor at Casa Grande; Montgomery and Santa Rosa at Rancho Cotate; and Maria Carrillo at Cardinal Newman.

The NBL championships are tentatively scheduled at Spring Lake, but that could change as information about the fate of the park emerges, Smith Billing said.

The North Coast Section Meet of Champions is Nov. 18 and the CIF State Cross Country Championship is Nov. 25.

Girls’ golf

The NBL golf season is finished and the tournament scheduled for today has been canceled. Maria Carrillo will be crowned the league champ and is the automatic qualifier to the North Coast Section tournament. Santa Rosa High coach Levi Jones will rank individual players and school officials can complete NCS paperwork for at-large berths, according to Smith Billing.

Girls’ tennis

Matches originally scheduled for Oct. 10 and 12 will not be rescheduled.

Matches scheduled for Oct. 17 will be played Oct. 24: Rancho Cotate at Montgomery; Windsor at Ukiah; Maria Carrillo at Casa Grande; Santa Rosa at Cardinal Newman.

Matches scheduled for Oct. 19 will be played Oct. 26: Montgomery at Ukiah; Santa Rosa at Windsor; Casa Grande at Rancho Cotate; Cardinal Newman at Maria Carrillo.

Matches scheduled for Oct. 24 will be played Oct. 31: Maria Carrillo at Montgomery; Windsor at Casa Grande; Rancho Cotate at Santa Rosa; Ukiah at Cardinal Newman.

Team championships will be held on Nov. 7, 9 and 11. CIF Nor-Cal Team Tennis Championships will be held Nov. 17-18.

Volleyball

Matches originally scheduled for Oct. 10, 12 and 17th will not be rescheduled.

Matches scheduled for Oct. 19 have been moved to Oct. 24: Rancho Cotate at Montgomery; Windsor at Ukiah; Maria Carrillo at Casa Grande; Cardinal Newman at Santa Rosa.

Matches scheduled for Oct. 24 have been moved to Oct. 26: Montgomery at Ukiah; Santa Rosa at Windsor; Casa Grande at Rancho Cotate; Cardinal Newman at Maria Carrillo.

Matches scheduled for Oct. 26 have been moved to Oct. 28: Maria Carrillo at Montgomery; Windsor at Casa Grande; Rancho Cotate at Santa Rosa; Ukiah at Cardinal Newman, site to be determined.

NCS championships begin Oct. 31 and run through Nov. 11. The CIF semifinals are Nov. 25 and the state CIF championships are Dec. 1-2.

The water polo schedule was still being considered Sunday.

Sonoma County League

Commissioner Dave Ashworth said Saturday he planned to send an email to his athletic directors today to see how they wanted to proceed, but was inclined to count games going forward as wins, losses or forfeits, depending on if teams show up to competition.

Ashworth said the girls’ golf tournament scheduled for today will proceed as planned.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”