The Fullerton College football team would normally be about 3 or 4 games into the season at this point had this been a normal season.
Instead, they are stuck in limbo just like the rest of the FC sports who had their seasons pushed back to the spring after the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) decided on July 9 to move to the Contingency Plan.
“I was bummed about it. I felt bad for our players but I also understood the health implications” Fullerton College football head coach Garrett Campbell said about the decision.
“This is the first fall in probably 14 years that I’ve had time to spend with my family without football,” said Branden Rankins, sophomore running back.
“It was definitely a shell shock for me because I’ve been playing football for the last 13 years at this point,” sophomore linebacker Tanner Bean added.
Campbell is trying to make sure the team stays prepared despite all of the uncertainty surrounding the season. He said the team has been trying to stay in touch over the phone and they are conducting meetings through Zoom.
The coaching staff is still able to facilitate and tailor certain workouts to the different position groups but they cannot be present or host any workouts on campus.
“I’ve been working out with a buddy that has a weight room in his garage … he plays on the football team as well. I’ve seen some of my other teammates on social media either on a field or working out in their gyms if they have one” Bean said.
Rankins said he is not worried about the COVID-19 concerns despite some of the NCAA games that have been postponed or canceled. He knows that whatever happens is going to be outside of his control and all he can control is whether he is ready to play or not.
The PAC-12, which has four California universities within the conference, is rumored to return to play in either late October or early November. This comes after the Big Ten Conference voted to return to play October 24th after voting not to play just last month.
“I love the fact that they are trying to get those guys back on the field … most of these guys that left their communities, left for an opportunity at a better life” Rankins stated.
Campbell said he is “cautiously optimistic” about returning and he hopes that if the PAC-12 successfully returns it could be a positive influence on the CCCAA and their preparation for the scheduled spring season.
“I’m just jealous of the teams that are able to play right now … I really hope we’re at least able to play in the spring,” Bean said.
Currently, there is not a schedule in place for the upcoming season. According to the CCCAA’s contingency plan, all sports will see a 30% reduction in the original number of contests they were scheduled to have.
There will not be state championships or any postseason competition for the 2020-21 season.