Homecoming festivities in a limited capacity will still occur this week at Tehachapi High School, but the finale that culminates with a crowning of a king and queen during the Friday night football game might not happen.
Tehachapi’s scheduled opponent this week, Bakersfield-Ridgeview, had their game canceled with Bakersfield-Foothill last week due to COVID-19 protocols. Unfortunately, Tehachapi High found out recently that the Ridgeview cancellation will also extend into this week for the South Yosemite League opener and homecoming.
“Ridgeview’s varsity team has some COVID-related issues right now so they had to cancel their game with us,” said Tehachapi High Athletic Director Ryan Grimes. “We know this is an unfortunate situation, especially with it being homecoming and a league game, but we are doing our best to try and schedule an alternate opponent if we can.”
Trying to find another suitor at this stage of the football season is a challenge, mainly due to many teams either starting or in the midst of their league schedule. This creates a lack of flexibility to postpone or reschedule games.
This predicament has not deterred Tehachapi High from trying, reaching out to schools that appear to have an opening. To date, an agreement to play another school has not been reached.
Possibilities within the Central Section include Taft, Hanford and Washington Union, who appear to have a need for a game and byes on Friday, Oct. 1, according to calpreps.com. Also a possibility is a team in the Southern Section, Thermal-Desert Mirage, who also may have an opening on their schedule this Friday.
“We have been contacted by schools like Bakersfield-Liberty that offered to send their junior varsity team to us, which we appreciate, but ultimately we would like to play a varsity-level opponent,” added Grimes. “There are a lot (of factors) that go into coming into an agreement like this. Transportation logistics and gate-revenue considerations are all in play as well.”
Tehachapi has already planned many events centered around homecoming this week, which include a semi-formal school dance, night rallies and on-campus activities related to their "decades of music" homecoming theme. A handful of THS football players are also scheduled to go to Cummings Valley Elementary School during a Warrior day this week to participate in a school rally for the K-5 students.
“While we are aware that the football game is an important centerpiece to homecoming, there are many activities other than the football game itself, which is why we are keeping homecoming as scheduled,” Grimes said. “We will still have an underclassmen football game, so there will still be football during homecoming week.”
Tehachapi’s JV Warriors' scheduled game with Bakersfield-Ridgeview is still a go, but on a different day, now this Thursday at 5 p.m. at Coy Burnett Stadium.
For the latest updates on a possible opponent for the Varsity Warriors this Friday night, monitor Twitter handle @tehachapisports or Tehachapi Warriors Football and thswarriors.com on Facebook for real-time information.
“We are trying to schedule a game, we know how important it is to our kids and the community,” Grimes said. “We will let everyone know as soon as we can if Friday Night Lights can happen this week.”