By Raiza Giorgi

Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District officials were hoping that athletes would be able to enjoy the newly installed football field on campus the week school started, but that will have to wait. 

“The new turf football field is one of many significant improvements on the SYHS campus recently,” said District Superintendent Scott Cory. “Visually, it’s one of the most fun: the huge Pirate logo, the orange end zones (“Pirates” and “Santa Ynez”), alternating shades of green every five yards.” 

He added the safety factor of the new field is significantly improved with a concussion mat underneath the turf and improved fill material on the surface that makes the field much more contact safe.

“It will be a huge benefit to the students and athletes that utilize the field,” Cory said. “The look is a big source of pride for the community. These types of projects are rare on school campuses and are certainly something worth talking about.” 

The construction of the new field started the week of graduation in June, and it was a sight to see as grads were allowed to drive on the field at the end of their parade around the valley. 

High school sports will be doing a modified schedule and a delayed opening, the CIF State office announced July 20. Because of COVID-19, CIF officials have taken three seasons of sports and condensed it to two seasons of sports. Fall teams will start practicing in December and spring teams will start practicing in March.

“The first home football game is scheduled for January 15, with JV starting at 4 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m. versus Nordhoff. This is a moment worth looking forward to,” Cory said. 

In the state’s calendar, the fall season will be comprised of boys/girls cross country; field hockey; 11-man football; 8-man football; gymnastics; traditional competitive cheer; boys/girls volleyball; boys/girls water polo. 

For spring sports it will be badminton; baseball; boys/girls basketball; competitive cheer; boys/girls golf; boys/girls lacrosse; boys/girls soccer; softball; boys/girls swimming and diving; boys/girls tennis; boys/girls track and field and boys/girls wrestling. 

For more comprehensive information about Pirate athletics, visit the SYHS website at and click the “Athletics” tab on the home page.