May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Sunny Hills football team cancels April events and advises players to be ready

8/30/19: Coach Pete Karavedas encourages his Sunny Hills players during their clash with Aliso Niguel. (Photo courtesy Jim McCormack, for OC Sports Zone)

Sunny Hills Coach Peter Karavedas congratulates players after a win last season. (File photo courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone)

Sunny Hills football coach Peter Karavedas was looking forward to some team bonding experiences in April, hoping to set the stage for another successful season.

But Karavedas and other coaches in the district found out those will have to be put on hold. The Fullerton Joint Union School District announced Thursday that school will remain closed until May 1 and no athletics will be held during that time because of concerns about the coronavirus.

It’s not known whether spring sports will be resumed or canceled altogether. CIF state officials have put off a decision until April 3.

“It’s obviously something we’re all concerned about,” Karavedas said Thursday night. “Taking all the proper precautions is really important for the whole state and the whole country and the whole world, so high school football is kind of on the back burner right now so I totally understand that and we’ve been thinking about and talking about it because we start spring ball on May 11 and we had a bunch of team bonding events scheduled in April and those have all been canceled.”

Sunny Hills is coming off a memorable 2019 season in which the Lancers won the CIF Division 8 title. The squad was looking to continue the success next seasoon.

“One of my coaches said it best the other day that we feel like we’re losing momentum,” Karavedas said. “In the off-season, you build momentum building up to spring ball and that’s frustrasting, but everybody is in that same boat.”

Sunny Hills had its ring ceremony for April 2 and the team was planning to attend an XFL game. In addition a job fair for the team in which 35 professionals from different careers were going to come on campus to meet with the players.

The team also had a service project in Fullerton with OC United at the end of the month which he expects will be cancelled. In addition, a youth camp was cut short.

“They are kind of extras, but they are things we do that we think give our kids a great experience,” Karavedas said. “A lot of times those are the memories you’re creating for these young men. So I feel bad for them. I feel really bad for our seniors.”

Karavedas said he doesn’t have concerns yet about the start of summer football practice being delayed or the regular season being affecting. He is advising his players to remain in shape and be ready for the start of the season.

“We’ve got an app that we have all of our kids on,” the coach said. “It’s got a bunch of body weight workouts on it.”

There is a leadership group which will hold players accountable to the workouts.

“Today I got a video of some kids working out in their backyard,” he said. “I know a lot of coaches across Orange County are doing the same thing.”

He wants his players to be ready for the start of the season.

“It’s a challenge for everybody,” the coach said. “The last thing we want to do is treat this like a vacation. I tell the boys ‘Canyon High School who you open with isn’t going to do that, Capo Valley, game two; EL Modena, game three; Brea. game four…none of those guys are going to treat it like a vacation so if you do it, you’re going to lose football games.'”

Karavedas said he hasn’t decided what to do yet about the ring ceremony.

“I was really looking forward to getting the coaches and team together one last time,” he said.

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-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com