From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
Can anyone remember that it was nine months ago that the Auburn High School boys’ basketball team was less than an hour away in playing for a state title? The game never took place thanks to COVID-19 shutting down the Virginia High School tournament. No high school sports have been played since.
There is a fine line, maybe finer than anyone wants to admit, in what we are going through thanks to the pandemic.
Should they play or not? The spread of the coronavirus or its non-spread of has to be a top priority, but there is an underlying negative effect that might be causing a larger long-term problem. The bigger issue is getting our children back to school.
Intertwined in this is athletics. The lack of sports, we cannot deny, has a negative effect on these youngsters. They are not getting physical activity, which is also taking a mental toll on them.
Travel and AAU teams continue to play, but not high school and middle school athletics. The county says the COVID numbers remain too high. If others can play with restrictions, why can’t the athletes in Montgomery County?
The procedures have been laid out as to how each school can play, but so far, they have not had the chance to be used. I believe they will work, and we need to give them a chance to do so.
COVID cannot win. We must strive together to get our kids back on the courts and the mats and in the pool.
Honestly, sports are in serious trouble and may never be able to recover. I just hope youngsters will not give up on the dream of playing in college or at a higher level.
Not playing means they will never be given that chance. Canceling athletics means some of these youngsters will have no reason to study and or desire to go to school.
Again, we need to give them some hope. They are even more vulnerable right now, and we need to change that.
The Facebook page “Let Them Play — MCPS” was created to gather the Montgomery County community together to ask the county school board to allow our students to compete in sports this season.
So far, 400 people, mainly parents, have joined the page and have expressed their outrage to the county for shutting down athletics.
This lockdown cannot continue.
The kids have suffered enough, and the school system must believe their COVID plan will work.
These student-athletes need some hope and should be playing. They need it for both their mental and physical health.
Let them play!