Still, Mission Viejo was given clearance by its own district, and, along with Foothill, is expected to compete today.
“Our kids are coming home,” said Lynch, who was all right with the decision. “They have been breathing the smoke for about four days. It’s possible that if they go up there and start exerting themselves, even though the air up there is clean, that there could be some health issues.”
Corona del Mar Coach Barry O’Dea said 19 of his players are also up in the Bay Area, but plan to stay up there even though they won’t play in the tournament. O’Dea, who like Lynch never made the trip up north, said Sea Kings parents have still decided to turn the trip into a non-school sponsored group weekend and use it as a time for sightseeing and to visit colleges in the area.
Earlier Thursday, Orange County Superintendent of Schools William Habermehl held a conference call with the 15 Orange County high school district superintendents, including Newport-Mesa Unified School District Superintendent Jeffrey Hubbard. It was decided that all Orange County public high school games scheduled through Saturday would be either canceled or postponed.
However, the meaning of that decision appeared to be up for interpretation. According to Ray Gatfield, director of secondary education for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, district superintendent Steve Fish gave clearance for Mission Viejo High to participate in the TruWest Memorial Cup since the event is out of the county. Lynch and several Newport Harbor team parents said that Foothill High is also being allowed to participate in the tournament.