Mission Viejo football coach Chad Johnson starts campaign for November football practice

Mission Viejo head football coach Chad Johnson and his team have launched a letter writing campaign urging California health authorities and the state legislature to allow high school football practices to begin no later than Nov. 9.

“This means eliminating pods, distance limitations and restrictions on physical contact,” the “Let Us Play” document reads.

The document stresses the importance of high school sports for athletes and how in order to play football safely — regular season games begin Jan. 14 in the LA City and Southern Sections — routine football practices need to take place soon to ensure safety.

“COVID-19 has already taken so much from us,” the document goes on to read. “Do not allow it to unnecessarily take any more. Do not allow the cure to be worse than the disease. Please, for the benefit of the more than 800,000 participants in CIF sports, remove the impediments to the practices we need to prepare for the upcoming season and LET US PLAY.”

Currently, high school teams are allowed to hold socially distanced conditioning workouts in counties throughout Southern California. Private schools and school districts have sanctioned those workouts, but regular football practices with contact and the full team present are currently not permitted.

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This afternoon my players voted on an effort to support the opening up of high school athletics. I am very excited about this opportunity and possibility. I hope other players, coaches and parents will support this effort and let their voices be heard. pic.twitter.com/zDiDdgbVNz

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