Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

The game goes on

Xs and Arrows

I am very happy to report that there are plenty of preparations underway for the opening of the prep sports season both in Tehachapi and Kern County. After a year that saw very few of our teams compete, things are pushing forward in 2021 despite numerous obstacles.

There was a great turnout at the intrasquad football scrimmage last week and one could sense the desire to see football and any local sports back in action for that matter. There were plenty of new fans clamoring for Warrior Booster Club memberships and green seats and, after two weeks of sales, we've nearly exhausted all of the recently launched "We Are All Warriors" merchandise and another order is being processed. Membership has tripled compared to the 2019 season and I am looking forward to all those fans in those seats.

I would like to ask for one thing this upcoming season, and that would be grace from fans. With continuously changing regulations for school districts, guidance on various elements of competition and more, we will be back playing but it might look slightly different. There was hope not too long ago that things post COVID-19 would return back to normal, but given new fears, those concerns continue to spread confusion, probably faster than spreading the actual virus.

Fans will be back, although some of the "normal" behaviors and game day experiences may be different, that is where that aforementioned grace comes in. There needs to be an understanding this season that everyone from the school district to the Booster Club, the coaches and the players are just dealing with the cards being dealt from someone else far away. The most important thing is that our kids are back in school and back competing in the sports they missed so dearly.

Nothing is ever perfect but given these current odd circumstances there will be a few more imperfections than in years past, especially with many of the local teams having not competed at all a season ago. It's been a journey just to get to this point, to get to where we are staring a new season in the face, it's a win in and of itself. The ability to adjust will be required, there is no doubt the schedule that is released today might not be the schedule played this season. We all know now to expect the unexpected, we will need to make the best of it.

I have been told there is a critical shortage of officials in the Kern County Officials Association, this means there could be games rescheduled until that shortage can be properly addressed. It also means those of us from the press box to the bleachers should cut those wearing the officials' uniforms a little more slack than normal. While arguing with officials is a national pastime, I think 2021-22 might require a little more understanding as the workforce gets built back up to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Stepping out to Coy Burnett Stadium last week in the early morning and smelling the fresh cut grass brought back a wave of memories and pulsed a shot of energy through my veins that reminded me that football season was here. It was a smell taken for granted but one I remember from both playing and watching this game in that special place. It was a reminder of what is important, the game, and that the rest of the noise going on around that action plays second fiddle.

So, the 2021-22 season is finally here, it won't be perfect and heck, it might not be all that pretty, but with a little grace from the fans, some passion from the players and the backing of this community, I am excited to see what our local athletes at Tehachapi High School can do this season. We will have their back no matter the obstacles that might be in front of us, just so long that the game goes on.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. He can be reached at [email protected]. Read more content at http://www.CostelloeMedia.com.