Soccer

Fontana's Daniel Crisostomo, a member of Orange County SC, dribbles the ball on July 25 against Phoenix Rising FC in a USL Championship league game at Great Park in Irvine. Orange County won, 1-0.  The coronavirus threat has not prevented league action from continuing.  (Contributed photo by Jerry Soifer)

There are a million reasons why we should hate the coronavirus. It has caused terrible devastation throughout the world, resulting in sickness and death, while inflicting major economic damage.

One of the sad side effects of COVID-19 has been its effect on the sports world, from the professional level all the way down to young kids not being able to participate in their favorite activities because of the understandable health concerns.

For months, fans have been unable to watch their beloved athletes on TV.

Now, finally, Major League Baseball has started its season, and what happens? The Miami Marlins are forced to postpone several games because numerous players got infected.

Still, there is reason for optimism that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels will be able to make it through the season unscathed -- and they may actually thrive with the help of some superstar newcomers.

The Dodgers, aided by Mookie Betts, have a good shot at winning a World Series title that would somewhat make up for the crown that was unjustly denied them by the cheating Houston Astros in 2017. The Angels, meanwhile, are looking for big things from Anthony Rendon, who was a member of the Washington Nationals' championship team of 2019.

Adding to the sports excitement is the continuation of the NBA season, in which both the L.A. Lakers and Clippers are top contenders for the title. The NBA is smartly playing all of its games inside a bubble in Orlando, Fla., which hopefully will keep the coronavirus away (as long as the Clippers' Lou Williams stops going to strip clubs).

But when considering the football situation, it is very disconcerting that all of the NFL's preseason contests have been canceled, and some analysts are doubting whether games can be played at all in 2020.

Pro soccer, on the other hand, seems to be moving forward nicely with its MLS is Back Tournament.

Lower levels of pro soccer also appear to be rejuvenated following the coronavirus shutdown. The USL Championship league features the Orange County SC team, which has a player from Fontana, Daniel Crisostomo. He helped Orange County SC obtain a 1-0 win over Phoenix Rising at Great Park in Irvine on July 25.

----- BUT WHILE playing fields are apparently being allowed to be used for competition in the O.C., that's not the case in San Bernardino County, creating additional misery for local athletes who have been forced to the sidelines by this pandemic.

According to S.B. County health officials, recreational team and youth sports of any kind, including purposes of conditioning, drills and exercise activities, are not permitted at this time due to safety precautions. As a result, Fontana's youth football and soccer teams which had been looking forward to fall competition are still stuck with nothing to do -- which is frustrating, but it's the wise approach considering the horror that COVID-19 can create.

The CIF Southern Section recently announced that the high school sports that were originally scheduled to begin in the fall have been delayed until December or January, which makes sense under the circumstances. The goal will be to have all of the prep sports seasons eventually take place at some point during the 2020-2021 school year, and we would be grateful for that.

In the meantime, all persons -- athletes and non-athletes, fans and non-fans -- need to do their best to triumph over the coronavirus. Wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and let's revive joyfulness and defeat the gloom.

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