Union Democrat staff

Sonora High School’s football team will have an extra week of practice after the Sac-Joaquin section of the California Interscholastic Federation determined air quality continues to be impacted by fires in California.

The Wildcats had been scheduled to play Colfax High School Friday at 7 p.m.

Wednesday afternoon the Sac-Joaquin section announced Friday’s games will be moved to next Friday.

“After constant contact with various air quality boards throughout the region, the Sac-Joaquin Section has determined some playoff changes must be made due to worsening air quality expected through the weekend,” officials said in a statement.
The changes apply to all section playoff football games originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

The Division 1-3 championships will be held Saturday, Dec. 1 at Sacramento State.

In addition, the CIF’s state office has delayed regional and state championship games.

“We reviewed the schedules with the 10 CIF Sections and came to a unanimous agreement that the best course of action is to cause the least disruption as possible for all those participating in our Regional and State Championship events,” said CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake in a release. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during a time where schedules need to be fluid due to unfortunate events beyond our control.”

This year’s Nor-Cal football championships will be held Dec. 7-8 and the brackets will be released Dec. 2.

The state football championships are scheduled for Dec. 14-15.

The Division 4-6 championships are set for Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Cross country

The Sac-Joaquin section cross country championship are still planned for Saturday at the Willow Hill course in Folsom, but section officials say they’ll keep a watch on air quality and could still make the choice to make changes.

“The air quality is forecast to be within decent ranges that morning, and we will have varsity-only races with combined divisions beginning at 9 a.m,” the statement said.

Divisions 1 and 2 boys will begin at 9 a.m. Divisions 1 and 2 girls start at 9:35 a.m. Divisions 3-5 will begin at 10 a.m. and Divisions 3-5 girls start at 10:35 a.m.

“If the AQI (air quality index) climbs above 150 (unhealthy range) before any races are run, we will not hold the races, instead using the times from our sub-section meet for teams to qualify for the state championships,” section officials said. “If the AQI climbs above 150 during the races, all subsequent races will be called off and we will use sub-section times to qualify for the state championships.”
As of Wednesday afternoon air quality forecasts for Saturday called for unhealthy to extremely unhealthy ranges.