GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County parents from different schools joined their children and their coaches in rallying to bring back athletics for the upcoming school year.
The games have been put on hold because of rising COVID-19 cases.
Preseason workouts were set to start on July 20, but Guilford County school leaders pushed it back to Aug. 3.
The North Carolina High School Athletics Association has delayed the start of the season to Sept. 1.
The group that gathered outside of the Guilford County Schools Administration Building on Wednesday thinks that student-athletes should be able to get out and be a part of a team as soon as they can.
“Please let us play” was plastered on several signs at the rally.
“We want sports this year and we want school,” said Western Guilford Middle School students Kayla Bridges and Savannah Coronado.
It was a request from students, their parents and their coaches.
“Our youth, they need to have something to look forward to every day. I think we all do,” Grimsley High School mom Brandy Adams said. “They need a purpose. Since March, they’ve been on a back burner. It’s almost as if they don’t have a purpose.”
While the crowd wore the colors of different schools across the county, on Wednesday they were on one team.
“This isn’t just about the Whirlies. When I walked up, and I saw [people] from Southwest, Page, Northern, Ragsdale, and Dudley, this is all of our youth,” Grimsley High School mom Pamela Harper said. “This is all of Guilford County’s youth. Not just one school. It’s everyone.”
For some, this request to play sports again is personal, to help protect their children.
“My son suffers from depression. He’s been treated for two years now. I now see him start to fall down that track again. I see he needs to get out and he needs people to build him up again,” Southwest Guilford High School mom Cathryn Campbell said.
Her son, Trey, is a rising sophomore. He was at the rally with some of his football team.
“If you fall down, you got other people to pick you up. It’s something you can enjoy, something you can hold dear in your memories forever,” he said.
It is a lesson that students at the rally told FOX8 they’ve learned from playing sports: to find ways to win, despite the challenges.
“Let us try with these older kids to see if we can come to some sort of resolution,” Campbell said. “If we can start the school year, this athletic year, and give them a chance to show our kids can do what we’re asking them to do.”
Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras did respond to the rally.
Her statement to FOX8 read:
“We understand that our students want to participate in athletics and other co-curricular activities. We know they miss the connections they have with their friends and with our coaches and teachers. We miss them, too. However, we also want our students and staff to stay healthy and safe, and right now, public health data in our county is going in the wrong direction. I support the recommendation of our district athletic directors.”