ARCADIA — Four games into the Pacific girls’ soccer season, Arcadia High and Burroughs were the only two teams remaining without a defeat in league play.
Next on the schedule was a head-to-head meeting between those schools with first place on the line. Arcadia would come in with four wins, hosting Burroughs, close behind the Apaches with three wins and one tie. The game was to take place Friday afternoon at the Civic Center Athletic Field, where the Apaches edged the Indians 2-1 last season, but when it was slated to begin the field was empty and not a person was at the facility in front of the Arcadia City Hall.
A winner of Friday afternoon’s contest would have given that squad a clear view at the top of the standings and the distinction of being the Pacific’s final unbeaten. But, even worse than a potential tie, the Colby fire burning in the Angeles National Forest near Glendora clouded that view. The fire was still spewing particulates into the air of the San Gabriel Valley and the game had been put off due to poor air quality.
“We were looking forward to playing. It was a chance to take on the first-place team and challenge ourselves, so we’re a little disappointed,” Burroughs Coach Brady Riggs said from Las Vegas Friday night, where he was to coach his youngest daughter’s club team. “But we don’t want anyone getting ill playing soccer.”
The South Coast Air Quality Management District placed the San Gabriel Valley and the surrounding areas under a smoke advisory for the entirety of Friday due to the continuing effects of the Colby fire. The advisory read in part, “Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion.”
The officials at Arcadia High School appropriately heeded that warning. At 4 p.m., the approximate hour of the would-be Apache versus Indians game, the air quality index as reported by AQMD in relation to fine particulate matter averaged over a 24-hour period in the east San Gabriel Valley that includes Arcadia, stood at 156. A reading of this level, as reported on the AQMD website, means “Everyone may begin to experience health effects when AQI values are between 151 and 200.”
The Indians-Apaches game has been rescheduled for Jan. 29, according to Riggs, who found out about the date change mid-morning. So at the end of Friday there are still two unbeaten teams in Pacific League girls’ soccer.