‘Let Them Play': Parents, Students Demand High School Sports to Return

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Parents and students marched down the streets of downtown Livermore Friday demanding state and health officials make an exception for high school sports and allow student athletes to play. 

“I have been trying to get recruited to play softball in college,” said Caitlyn Foster, senior at Livermore High School. 

The pandemic wiped out high school softball tournaments and that means Foster is forced to rely on dated videos to show to recruiters. 

“There’s that fear in the back of my mind that I need that game time to make me the best player that I can be and I need that game time to get me ready to play at that college level too,” said Foster. 

She was one of the student athletes taking part in the Let Them Play Rally in downtown Livermore, one of dozens happening across the state. Parents have taken to Facebook to organize and call on the state health officials to make an exception for their high school athletes. “We would like everybody to take a look at this one more time and hopefully see the value for the kids mental and physical health,” said Livermore High School Football Coach John Wade, who says he’s got at least four seniors on his team who were aiming to get a football scholarship. “Some of the schools have contacted them and said we’re interested but we need to see some film and there’s the problem right there.”

Currently, outdoor high-contact sports like football are under the orange tier. Moderate contact sports, like baseball and softball, are in the orange tier. Even if they get a hail mary from the state, is there enough time in the school calendar for a season? 

“If anything is going to happen, it will be condensed as far as the seasons go,” said Wade.

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