East Bay parents, students rally for high school sports to resume amid pandemic

MORAGA, Calif. (KGO) -- Groups of parents and students across California participated in rallies late Friday afternoon to demand the governor to allow high school sports to resume. This, despite the high number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. But they argue that there is a way to modify sports to play in a safe manner.

Their demands were straightforward -- Let high school athletes return to sports. The meeting place was outside Campolindo High School in Moraga which hasn't had competitive sports since COVID-19 forced the closure of the school.

Football Coach Kevin Macy says it's been too long.

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"The COVID concerns are being outweighed by the mental health issues, now, so much more detrimental that they're not playing sports," said Macy, who has coached the football team at Campolindo for 25 years.

California is one of five states pausing fall sports for high school teams.

"It's heartbreaking to see that potentially they had something in high school they can no longer do that when they go to college," said Denise Siri, an Orinda resident.

Others think the COVID-19 numbers are too high to bring back high school athletes. "I see football players without a mask, I get concerned particularly when I watch pro sports none of them are wearing masks," one man told ABC7.

Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that doctors are concerned that COVID-19 has created the perfect conditions for kids to gain excess weight because, in part, their favorite sports are no longer an option at schools.

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There have been studies like one from the University of Wisconsin last October which found that that state's high school sports has not caused an increase in COVID infections among their athletes.

Coach Macy says it can also be safely done here in California.

"We've been running camps all summer long, through fall and into winter and data have been collected and we've had no incidents of any type of COVID related in that demographic of kids," added Macy.

With no date in sight to resume sports, the Golden State High School Football Community is gathering data to show Gov. Gavin Newsom that schools are prepared to practice sports safely.

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