SPHS Sports Update | Waiting Game Continues for Delayed Fall Season

South Pasadena High Athletic Director Anthony Chan urges students to get into top shape, as the campus remains physically closed due to the coronavirus. Not an easy assignment, Chan must schedule three seasons hoping the fall season starts in either December or January, followed by the spring season in March

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | Fall Sports anticipate delays until winter 2020

If you think your workday is difficult, try taking on the one Anthony Chan has these days.

As the athletic director at South Pasadena High School, he’s faced with combining three seasons – fall, winter and spring – into two. Pass the Excedrin, please. Chan might have a headache.

“I think a lot of us are going through a massive number of emails every day” he said, referring to the nightmare that exists for area AD’s facing the same struggles. “The scheduling has been difficult and trying to foresee the issues of more sports in one season, and the transportation necessary, is tricky.

To ensure it has enough financial resources for the transportation and officials for all sports, Chan said ASB Advisor Casey Shotwell and Principal Janet Anderson “have been incredibly proactive in preparing for how we might not have the revenue generated from spectators but still have to pay for all of these things,” he said.

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Anderson, noted Chan, has explored the possibility of having some film crew companies use parts of the campus to generate revenue which would financially support athletics this year, “should we end up having matches with no spectators,” he explained. “I’ve been going to the construction site a few times a week to make sure things are being built the way we want them and to start measuring out items that we want in there once construction is finished. I can’t speak highly enough of how involved the district and site administration are in ensuring that the trust the community has placed in us by passing Measure SP will be well placed.”

Much of his time spent on campus while students continue to learn through distance-learning due to the coronavirus pandemic has been spent on a major effort to improve the athletic facilities at South Pasadena High School using $13.5 million in Measure SP dollars. The project, which is nearly complete, calls for improvements to the school’s two gymnasiums, and redesign of the area from the stadium to the pool and baseball field. New outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, visitor bleachers, a new field house, featuring a training room, film room and storage, are also in the plans.

As a result of the pandemic, Chan said he gets time “to focus my efforts on making sure our renovation is exactly the way we want it,” he said.  “It gives me a lot of hope that at some point, kids will be on our facilities again and they will get to enjoy the labor that everyone has put into making our athletic spaces something to be proud of.  It is remarkable, and gives me a lot of hope, when I think about the fact that these facilities will modernize our athletics for many years to come.  It’s exciting to know that I was a small part of it.“

Meanwhile, it’s a waiting game for the games to be played based on the proposed calendar by California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which, if all goes well and students begin to return to local campuses for in-class learning, the fall season would begin in December or January 2021 and the spring season in March.

“Should we receive more guidance from L.A. County Health and LA County Office of Education to let us hold practices, we would begin implementing protocols for our safe return,” said Chan.  “It’s important to note that matches need opponents, so holding practices and having matches has to be something that our league schools also do. Otherwise, we end up having nobody to play.”

While there are no students on campus and in-person practices and games are on hold, causing Chan to say: “It’s a strange time indeed,” he’s encouraging those representing the athletic program he oversees to get into top condition.

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail,” he warned. “I’ve encouraged teams to continue staying in shape and also to do their best in our distance learning model. I’d like our student-athletes to remember that they now have more time to focus on the student aspect of student-athlete, which is the most important.”