Air Travel Chaos Forces High School Athletes To Drive 12 Hours

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An impromptu caravan drove down Interstate 5 Monday evening.

When Bay Area high school basketball and soccer teams learned that flights had been canceled, the teams packed cars, vans, and buses throughout the day and headed to Southern California and beyond to compete in tournaments. .

Tournaments over Christmas and New Years are common in high school sports. It’s a chance for teams to bond, build friendships and face competition from outside the region, rather than teams playing the same local opponents over and over again, but many of the Bay Area schools have been canceled. Plans were affected by the flight’s tsunami.

Seven men’s basketball teams from the East Bay Athletic League (EBAL), the strongest league in the Bay Area this year, were playing in the Southern California tournament.

The San Ramon Valley were scheduled to board Southwest Airlines Flight 3540 from San Jose to Ontario on Monday, but the Wolves’ flight was canceled while they were waiting at the airport. We stopped by In-N-Out Burger and arrived in Southern California early Tuesday morning.

Riordan guard King-Njhsanni Wilhite (3) fielded San Ramon Valley forward Seamus Deely (15) and guard Luke Isaak (24) in the Crusaders’ 69-63 win over Wolves in a non-league basketball game. I drove in the first quarter of | | Ethan Cassel / The Standard

Other teams had similar experiences. The team, led by California high school head coach Steve Allmyer, finally made it to Tustin, Orange County, in time for Tuesday night’s game. Most teams made their drive on Monday night after Tuesday morning’s scheduled Southwest Airlines Flight 1251 from Oakland to Burbank was scrapped. Some of Ohlmeyer’s players weren’t able to join the drive, but on Tuesday morning he found a flight from SFO to San Bernardino via Breeze Airways for a low fee.

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The St. Ignatius soccer team doesn’t have much sympathy for the basketball team heading to Southern California. Both the SI men’s and women’s soccer teams learned that flights to Phoenix had been canceled, and using I-5 and I-10 he made the 12-hour journey to the desert. The Wildcat woman saved her 1-1 draw against local Hamilton on Tuesday.

But the longest trip belongs to Seattle private school Odia, the alma mater of top NBA draft pick Paolo Banchero. The Fighting Irish Boys basketball team, with no means of getting to San Diego, contacted nearby public school Auburn, who needed Damian’s way to his Classic. The team rented a bus and began his 20-hour trek south. They unloaded the Trojans in Pomona before heading to San Diego.

But Dougherty Valley couldn’t handle O’Dea easily. The Fighting Irish arrived at Torrey his Pines an hour before tip-off and lost 70–58, with USF’s Ryan Beasley scoring his 37th for the Wildcats. Most of the Dougherty Valley team drove off on Monday, but he was one of the lucky few coaches and parents who were able to fly off on Tuesday.

Tournaments in the Bay Area were almost non-existent. Out-of-state teams, including Seattle Prep, arrived in Oakland for the Damien Lillard Classic, but Marin Catholic’s Banbauer Classic left him one team short. Redmond was supposed to travel from Washington, but was without transportation after Monday’s cancellation of Alaska Airlines flight 303. The flight was scheduled for 6:15 a.m. but was scheduled to take off. was canceled 5 hours before him.

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Most of Alaska’s flights to the Bay Area this week were unaffected, but they were too full to accommodate the Mustang traveling party. There was an option to fly to Reading early Tuesday morning, but that would have been a four hour drive.

Redmond head coach Todd Rubin said: “We were very disappointed that we weren’t able to achieve that.

The tournament proceeded with 15 teams instead of 16. Instead, in December 2021 he was given one team a bye, as well as some of the last-minute schedule changes made in response to the Covid breakout. Arcata, who was scheduled to play at Huntington Park on Monday, had a scrimmage with his JV team at Marin Catholic.

Alaska Airlines urges passengers to check flight status before boarding here.

A Southwest Airlines spokesperson urged passengers to check flight status using this link, saying: US Travel Market These operating conditions forced daily flights to change his schedule at a volume and scale that still have the tools our team uses to restore the airline operating at capacity. I was. ”


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