MODESTO – The 2019-20 high school basketball season never truly ended. The California Interscholastic Federation’s (CIF) State Championships were cut short by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing players, coaches and fans to turn the chapter on the season without experiencing the final thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.
However, for the Central Section’s 12 basketball championship teams (six boys’ teams and six girls’ teams, including the Porterville High girls basketball team), there's one remaining bit of recognition to be bestowed. On Monday, Crystal Creamery began delivering commemorative milk cartons honoring each of the Section champions. The cartons will be available at a variety of stores from Bakersfield to the Oregon border for the next few weeks.
“We originally intended for these cartons to be unveiled as the NBA Playoffs began, but this year is different, and these cartons now represent the end of high school for graduating seniors. Clearly, the pandemic has caused the students to miss out on many experiences, but we hope this provides fond memories of their success,” said Brian Carden, Crystal Creamery’s Senior Director of Sales.
He added, “We produce these cartons each season to recognize the hard work and commitment that was put forth by the student athletes and their coaches, but I think this set of cartons will mean a little more for each of these teams.”
Modesto-based, family-owned and an active community supporter Crystal Creamery is a sponsor of the Sac-Joaquin, Central and North Coast Sections. Crystal Creamery has now recognized more than 225 Section and State Champions, academic team champions, scholarship winners and Hall of Fame inductees on its milk cartons.
“No one wanted to see the season and the school year end the way it has, but it is great that Crystal Creamery can provide these championship teams with this lasting memory of one of their greatest triumphs,” said Jim Crichlow, Commissioner of the Central Section.
He added, “We want to thank Crystal Creamery and all our sponsors, coaches, school administrators, teachers, student athletes, families and the local communities for their support throughout the year and we look forward to resuming our activities in the near future.”
The girls Central Section Basketball Champions being honored on these commemorative cartons are (Open) Clovis West High School, (D1) Bakersfield High School, (D2) San Joaquin Memorial High School, (D3) Porterville High School, (D4) Caruthers High School and (D5) East Bakersfield High School. The boys Central Section Basketball Champions being honored on these commemorative cartons are (Open) San Joaquin Memorial High School, (D1) Clovis East High School, (D2) Independence High School, (D3) Bakersfield Christian High School, (D4) Kingsburg High School, and (D5) Fresno Christian High School.