CIF State commissioner Ron Nocetti said Sunday that an organization that has started a club football league in Southern California is violating the state’s youth sports guidelines.

Nocetti was responding to a report Saturday by an NBC affiliate in Palm Springs that claimed the CIF has “given their blessing” for athletes to take part in the league, which has been started by Corona-based Winner Circle Athletics.

According to the state’s youth guidelines that the California Department of Public Health announced in August, competitions are not permitted due to the coronavirus pandemic. High schools were told last week that they should not expect new guidelines until after Jan. 1.

Nocetti said he was upset that the report claimed the CIF supported the new league, Winner Circle Champions League, because of the uncertainty of the high school football season this school year.

“There was a news story published last night by an NBC affiliate in Palm Springs which stated that the CIF has given their blessing and allowed these high school athletes to participate in the WCCL,” Nocetti said. “We have reached out to this news source … it is not in our authority to even give such a blessing with the current CDPH guidance in place, which does not allow for youth sports competition.”

Winner Circle Athletics has said its league will include 20 teams from throughout Southern California and some from outside the state.

This past week, Centennial High defensive lineman Korey Foreman, considered one of the top football recruits for the class of 2021, told Spectrum News 1 that he will play in the WCCL this season and not for Centennial. Foreman said he made the decision after the CIF State announced Tuesday, Dec. 1 that football and other fall sports are on hold until new state guidelines are released by the CDPH.

 

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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