Sports

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Crabs to Play Ball for Limited Crowd with Locals on the Roster

Posted By on Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 1:53 PM

The Humboldt Crabs have announced their return to the field June 4, with three local players on the roster.

Willamette University infielder Ethan Fischel, Bethel University utility man Aidan Morris and Umpqua Community College pitcher Caleb Ruiz, who all hail from Eureka, will among those taking to the field this summer.

As for how many spectators can take themselves out to the ballgame, there's no hard number yet. Crabs President David Sharp responded to an email from the Journal, saying  the stands will welcome "somewhere between 20-33 percent capacity, so somewhere in the range of 350-450 fans." For now, entry won't require proof of vaccination, though visitors will have to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Sharp says, "Seating will be arranged in 1-4 person pods, all socially distanced throughout the bleachers and outfield grass areas. Tickets must be purchased in advance through our website." Not ready to join the crowd? Don't sweat it. Sharp adds that the games will be live streamed so nobody misses a swing.

Crabs News: The 2021 roster will feature three Eureka-born players, Willamette University infielder Ethan Fischel,...

Posted by Humboldt Crabs Baseball on Thursday, April 8, 2021
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Monday, March 15, 2021

HSU Women's Basketball Team Opts Out of Competing This Season

Posted By on Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 6:18 AM

HSU women's basketball guard/forward Alexia Thrower, who graduated last spring, during a competition pre-pandemic. - HSU ATHLETICS
  • HSU Athletics
  • HSU women's basketball guard/forward Alexia Thrower, who graduated last spring, during a competition pre-pandemic.

After Humboldt State University announced that student-athletes would return to competition this season, members of the women’s basketball team released a statement on their collective decision not to compete due to health and safety concerns, including injuries.

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HSU’s women’s basketball coach Michelle Bento-Jackson, who’s been coaching collegiate sports since 1992 and has been head coach of HSU’s women's basketball team for five seasons, said the decision was the right one for the team, as there were some players recovering from injuries.

“This was specifically a women's basketball decision,” Bento-Jackson said. “We collectively decided that it was not the best decision for us and for a number of reasons — our roster size, injuries. There were just a number of things that came to play in conversations that we just felt that we’re really fortunate that we’re here getting to practice and that we decided we’re going to focus this spring on getting better and practicing and building our team chemistry and it just seemed like the right decision for us specifically.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, all teams, including individual student-athletes, were given the opportunity to opt-out from participating in their sport this season, including competitions, Bento-Jackson said. For example, if any student athlete doesn’t feel comfortable returning to campus due to the pandemic, they had the option to stay home.

HSU Women's Basketball Coach Michelle Bento-Johnson coaching during a game last season. - HSU ATHLETICS
  • HSU Athletics
  • HSU Women's Basketball Coach Michelle Bento-Johnson coaching during a game last season.

The decision wasn’t predetermined, she said, adding that the team’s short time period to prepare for competitions was one of the many reasons they decided not to play. Before the pandemic, teams usually had about eight to nine weeks to prepare for competitions. This year, players only had a few weeks.

On Feb. 24, HSU announced that student-athletes would return to competition this semester with strict COVID-19 safety protocols in place, including frequent COVID-19 testing and quarantines. HSU men’s basketball team was the first to compete in an away game just a day after HSU’s announcement.

Though the women’s basketball team has decided not to compete this season, Bento-Johnson said she and her team are thankful for having the option to not compete this year and acknowledged the university and the athletics department’s efforts in ensuring the safety of HSU athletes returning to competition.

“I'm really happy that the other athletes are getting out there and our men's basketball team already did, some of our other teams are going to be competing and I think that's awesome,” Bento-Johnson said, “We're very fortunate that our department has put us in a position — I mean there's a lot of schools that can't compete — and we're very fortunate that we’ve been put in a position where we have that option, whether we want it to compete or not, and for that, we're really thankful.”

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

HSU Athletes Return to Play

Posted By on Sat, Feb 27, 2021 at 6:02 AM

Humboldt State University - FILE
  • File
  • Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University athletes are returning to the fields and courts as the university, National Collegiate Athletic Association and Humboldt County Public have set "strict health and safety guidelines" for players to return.

In a media availability on Thursday, County Health Officer Ian Hoffman said that collegiate sports are governed by the NCAA, which sets standards similar to the California Department of Public Health for sports and outdoor recreation. With a COVID-19 protocol plan submitted to Public Health, HSU athletes are able to return.

According to the HSU release, the athletes started the return to participation process in the fall of 2020 and continue this spring following county Public Health, NCAA and university protocols, including consulting with Humboldt County Public Health officials, frequent COVID-19 testing (at least three times a week for those in competitions), small group practices, wearing face coverings on campus and on the road and travel-related quarantines.

Away games are planned, beginning with the men's basketball team and, according to the protocols, players must quarantine for 14 days when the team returns to the HSU campus.


On Twitter, HSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Jane Teixeira praised the university and athletics department for work done "in front and behind the scenes so [student-athletes] can do something they love."

The release also states that an NCAA survey found that student athletes are reporting higher levels of mental exhaustion, anxiety and feelings of depression during the pandemic, with higher rates of distress among female, LGBTQ, and POC athletes.

“Although this isn’t an ideal situation for anybody, I know my team and others are grateful to get back to playing in any capacity,” said Macy Thomas, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee co-president and a volleyball player. “Some of our teams are getting travel games put on the schedule so that is a huge win for them. We have extensive safety protocols in place to ensure we can have another successful semester."

The move to in-person sports activities will pave the way for other campus functions.

In an email to the Journal, HSU spokesperson Grant Scott-Goforth said the school will be able to apply the "pod" group protocols that student-athletes are following to other campus and academic in-person activities like field-trips, in-person courses, events and more for the fall of 2021 semester.
"The ability to travel is integral to the hands-on learning experience that HSU prides itself on providing. Because of the frequency of testing of student athletes, we are able to work through what procedures and protocols we need to apply to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure while traveling with a group that is being closely watched," Scott-Goforth said. "This will allow us to walk away with a solid game plan that we will hopefully be able to implement across campus come fall 2021."

Read the full press release below.

Humboldt State University student-athletes are cautiously returning to training, practice, and exhibition games this spring.

Under strict health and safety guidelines from the NCAA, Humboldt County Public Health, and the University, this is the first opportunity since the COVID-19 pandemic began for student athletes to return to a bit of normalcy. The careful, deliberate approach to returning can have implications for the future of campus functions like field trips, in-person courses, events, and more.

An NCAA survey found that student-athletes, like other young adults, are reporting higher levels of mental exhaustion, anxiety, and feelings of depression during the pandemic. Higher rates of distress were reported among female, LGBTQ, and POC athletes.

Students, faculty, staff, and community have all made adjustments to slow the spread of the virus. All of the University, as a whole, worked diligently to have an opportunity for students to return to the classroom and activities,” says Jane Teixeira, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreational Sports. “A return to sports activities has had a real impact on student-athletes. You see it everyday when you watch these young people participate, you see it in their academic performance.

“Although this isn’t an ideal situation for anybody, I know my team and others are grateful to get back to playing in any capacity,” said Macy Thomas, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Co-President and Volleyball player. “Some of our teams are getting travel games put on the schedule so that is a huge win for them. We have extensive safety protocols in place to ensure we can have another successful semester. Go Jacks!”

Extensive safety protocols will be in place for the health of the student-athletes and coaching staff, as well as the opposing teams. Following best practices set by professional sports leagues and others, universities have been divided into regional “pods,” limiting the interaction between athletes from different schools.

The Lumberjacks started the return to participation process in Fall 2020 and continue this Spring following County Public Health, NCAA, and University protocols including testing on a regular and consistent basis. Protocols include

•Consultation with Humboldt County Public Health officials
•Frequent testing — teams in competition will be tested three times a week
•Small group practices
•Wearing face coverings on campus and on the road
•Travel-related quarantines

Each team will be on the road for multiple games over the course of two to three weeks. None of the games are part of regular conference competition, which is not occurring this year.

Athletes are being housed primarily in athlete-designated buildings, suites, and apartments. As with any campus resident, all students traveling out of Humboldt County are required to complete a 14-day quarantine before they return to their assigned room space. Athletic teams will be following the same process and upon their travel return, will be housed in separate facilities and/or apartments to quarantine for 14 days prior to them returning to their assigned room space.

“We are able to accomplish this largely on our ability to test frequently, these athletes are some of the most frequently tested individuals in the county,” says Cris Koczera, Emergency Coordinator and Interim Risk Management Director.

Athletics training, practice, and travel will help HSU return to other activities safely, when possible. The success of these teams will inform the continuation of field trips, additional face-to-face instruction, campus events, and other engagements. The University is hoping to be able to apply the protocols and guidelines that are successful to the broader campus in Fall 2021

Men’s Basketball will be the first to travel, currently scheduled to play games this weekend against Academy of Art. They will continue with Dominican, Fresno Pacific, and Simpson, with dates and times to be announced. Go to hsujacks.com for updated information.

Though no spectators will be allowed, games will be available to stream online for a small fee by the host institution, and Athletics will be sharing information about the games on its website and social media.

“I cannot express how the opportunity to return to a sense of ‘normalcy’ has had an exponential positive mental health effect for students and staff to return to the ‘physical lab’ of the field or court,” says Teixeira. “Our student-athletes love to play. They’re motivated to be exemplary and play safely during the pandemic. The continued support of Lumberjack Athletics, our student-athletes, HSU, and the amazing Humboldt County community is greatly appreciated. We are in this together and #WeRUnitedJacks.” More information on student-athletes and mental health can be read here.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Spartans Heading Back Down South

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 8:24 PM

The Spartans are heading home tomorrow after a brief stay in Arcata following word from Santa Clara County Public Health that the San Jose State University football team was cleared to practice back in the Bay Area.

According to a Tuesday night news release from Humboldt State University, the 140-member entourage of players, coaches and staff could return if things change on the COVID front in their neck of the woods.

University officials announced Sept. 30 that the campus would be "partnering" with its California State University sister campus to the south to bring the Spartans to town because the team was not cleared at the time to conduct practices at home in Santa Clara County due to COVID restrictions there.

Read more about the arrangement and responses from health officials in the story, “Their Success is Our Success,” by clicking here.

Before and after arriving in Humboldt on Oct. 2, according to HSU, none of the Spartans tested positive for COVID-19. Find out more about that here.

Read the HSU release below.
San José State University’s football team will return to the SJSU campus following its morning practice on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The news comes as Santa Clara County Public Health announced the team could return to practice at its home field after Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 risk level was downgraded from the red to orange tier — or moderate level.

Note that should Santa Clara County return to the red tier, HSU will consult with Humboldt County Public Health and SJSU about the viability of the team’s return to HSU to proceed safely for practice and/or competition.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 15, faculty, staff, and students will have access to the Redwood Bowl from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The SJSU team arrived Friday, Oct. 2 after testing negative for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County. The team had been in a bubble since July. Two tests in the week after they arrived show no positives among the approximately 140 players, coaches and staff that stayed and practiced on campus. More information about SJSU’s practices is available here.
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Saturday, October 10, 2020

HSU: No Confirmed COVID Cases in San Jose Football Entourage

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 1:16 PM

The SJSU football team is currently living and practicing at HSU. - SJSU SPARTANS FACEBOOK
  • SJSU Spartans Facebook
  • The SJSU football team is currently living and practicing at HSU.
None of the San Jose State University football team members who are living and practicing at Humboldt State University came back positive for COVID-19 in three rounds of testing to date, including right before their arrival in Arcata and within 72 hours of setting foot on campus, according to a news release.

A third round of testing was recently completed.

“Testing will continue weekly as long as SJSU remains on campus,” the HSU release states. “The extent of the stay is unknown at this time, as SJSU is working with Santa Clara County Public Health on a plan to return.”

University officials announced Sept. 30 that the campus would be "partnering" with its California State University sister campus to the south to bring the Spartans to town because the team cannot currently conduct practices at home in Santa Clara County due to COVID restrictions there.

Read more about the arrangement and responses from health officials in the story, “Their Success is Our Success,” from this week’s edition by clicking here.

The 135-member SJSU entourage includes players, coaches and staff. According to the release, SJSU students are not supposed to leave the campus “unsupervised.”

Read the full HSU release below:

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

After COVID Restricts Contact Sports in Santa Clara County, HSU Provides Space for San Jose State University Football Team to Practice

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 5:51 PM

HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY - FILE
  • Humboldt State University - FILE

According to information from the San Jose State Spartans, football players from the University team will travel north to Humboldt State University to practice football. They are barred from practicing in Santa Clara County because COVID restrictions bar contact sports.

“Approximately 135 players, coaches and essential support staff will travel to Humboldt State. Costs, such as housing and relocating the team north to Arcata, a 323-mile one-way bus trip, will be determined by the number of days the team is headquartered there,” the article reads.

HSU’s football team was disbanded in 2018.

According to the Spartan’s article, “The SJSU team will be housed in Humboldt State’s on-campus housing, and the universities will formulate a plan to allow Spartan student-athletes to utilize spaces to support their operational needs safely while following COVID-19 protocols.”

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

EOC Taking Applications to Reopen Youth Sports

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 3:12 PM

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Applications to reopen local youth sports leagues can be filed with the Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center.

Certain restrictions will be placed on which sports can be played and where, according to a news release, which notes that "adult amateur sports are not allowed at this time."

"Youth Sports are allowed only if physical distancing can be maintained at all times and if activities can be conducted in stable cohorts," the release states. "Cohorts are limited to no more than 14 children and no more than two adult coaches or trainers. Sports that cannot maintain physical distance at all times are not allowed, but physically distanced training and conditioning can take place with an EOC-approved plan."

Read the full county release below:


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Monday, August 10, 2020

County Asks State for Clarifications About Youth Sports

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 4:29 PM

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The county of Humboldt is asking the state’s Department of Public Health and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office for clarification about recently released guidance on youth sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release, key questions were left unanswered and the county’s COVID-19 joint information center has requested more information on “requirements for cohort size, adult supervision and shared food and drink dispensers in addition to requesting clarification on scrimmages.”

“The state describes general risk factors and provides an outline for sports activities, but unlike other industry sectors, Youth Sports lacks specifics that would allow us to set up a process under which people can apply to organize these sorts of activities,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in the release, noting that keeping children safe whether at school or on the playing field is the No. 1 priority.

Read the JIC release below:


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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Former Crab Signs with the Reds

Posted By on Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 2:41 PM

Oh, the places you'll go, Crabs, go.

CSU Bakersfield junior and former Humboldt Crabs MVP Damian Henderson signed a professional contract with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. Cue the cowbell.
Damian Henderson - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Damian Henderson

The Humboldt Crabs gave a shout out to their former teammate on Twitter on Saturday and signed off with hashtag #lifeasacrab. 
We share the sentiment. Congrats, Damian. 
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Monday, June 8, 2020

Bunkered by Bureaucracy, Disc Golf Courses Finally Reopen

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 3:36 PM

After being closed due to the pandemic since March, Humboldt County’s public disc golf courses began reopening last week. And according to the sport’s local organizers and advocates, it’s been an unexpectedly circuitous route back to these baskets.

A man tees off on the newly reopened Mad River Pump Station 4 disc golf course. - ASHLEY HARRELL
  • Ashley Harrell
  • A man tees off on the newly reopened Mad River Pump Station 4 disc golf course.

   
“I was a bit frustrated,” said Par Infinity Disc Golf Club President Caleb Gribi, who for weeks has been working with county officials to safely reopen the courses. “It was a matter of making sure everybody was covered, legally speaking.”

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