Coaches, Student-Athletes Push Leaders to Lift High School Sports Restrictions

A coalition of frustrated coaches, parents and student-athletes wanting high school sports to get back on track put on the full-court press Friday by suing the state.

The lawsuit calls on Gov. Gavin Newsom to lift all restrictions on high school sports immediately.

Santa Clara County is allowing light contact sports and says it will follow state guidelines, but groups including the Golden State Football Coaches Community and Let Them Play California are upset that those state guidelines have not been made clear.

“So many of our young people are struggling right now with the fact that they can't go outside and play," Richmond High School football coach George Jackson Jr. said.

Some coaches say the ban has led to youth frustration and even violence

"Now we’re seeing them join other brotherhoods that aren’t so pro-social, which we call gangs, right?" Skyline High School football coach Joe Bates said. "I’m losing my boys, and every school in Oakland is dealing with it."

The participating student-athletes say they trust the athletic system will watch out for them.

"I trust my teammates, I trust my coaches, I trust my community," Summer Stehan from Palo Alto High School said. "I trust whoever it is to just make it safe for us."

The governor's office and other state agencies said Friday they had not been served with the lawsuit yet and thus declined to comment, except to say they will continue to make decisions based on the health and safety of all Californians.

Contact Us