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High Schools Gear Up For Football Games Following Announcement To Resume Outdoor Sports In Inland Empire

REDLANDS (CBSLA) -- San Bernardino County is now allowing outdoor sports to resume following pandemic restrictions and high school sports teams across Southern California are excited to see the change.

The Citrus Valley High School football team had its first practice on Monday night, back on the field in full gear, running through plays.

The last coronavirus lockdown stalled the team's entire season, and head coach Kurt Bruich says it's been a hard time to encourage the team.

"To be 'Captain Positive' all the time... Hey, hang in there guys! Hang in there! And feeling like, why am I saying this you know? Do I think this is really gonna happen?" Bruich said.

What seemed like a wild dream to resume sports came around last Thursday in San Bernardino County as officials approved an immediate return to outdoor contact sports.

"You know, it was super, like, holy smokes!" Bruich said.

Some high school teams were left scrambling to get ready for their first game now that they're able to play again, but the Citrus Valley Blackhawks has been conditioning in small pods in line with health and safety guidelines for months now.

Inside linebacker Alex Toailoa says they're ready to go.

"We learned piece by piece, slower than usual, but now we're putting everything we learned through the entire season together," Toailoa said.

Football players at Citrus Valley High said they're still shocked that the season is finally picking back up.

"We were just like, we're really gonna have a season, bro, that's crazy. Bruich was right," Toailoa said.

Unfortunately, some students moved on because they didn't think the team would be able to return to the field.

"We're still missing like eight or nine seniors who decided not to keep going because they didn't think it was gonna happen. So they went and got jobs, did whatever they could. So, they basically gave up on it," Bruich said.

At this point, Coach Bruich says it's too late to get those players in condition to play the first game, but the team is making the most of what they have.

"I'd love to see all the kids back in school," Bruich said. "All we can do is be excited about what's happening."

Citrus Valley takes on Redlands East Valley in the first game on March 19.
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