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'I don't know what I'd do' | Guilford County Schools' student athletes team up to call for fall sports

The call for student athletics are getting louder in Guilford County, despite coronavirus.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools parents and students are trying to balance safety and sanity while waiting for decisions on the return to the classroom and the return to the athletic field.

Wednesday about 100 student athletes, parents and coaches rallied at the Guilford County Schools Administrative office to push for sports to go on.

"Virtual school was tough enough. Not playing sports would not be a good feeling," Lawrence Higgs said.

Higgs is an upcoming sophomore at Southwest Guilford High School and plays junior varsity football and lacrosse.

Fall without sports is a big fear for high school athletes like him and Grimsley High School senior Sincere Burnette. He said colleges are already reaching out to him.

"They kind of need my game film from this year to look at me, but I'm not gonna be able to showcase those skills like I should without a proper season," Burnette said.

That's why Burnette and his teammates organized Wednesday's rally. Burnette got the idea after hearing about a similar rally for Charlotte student athletes.

Parents at the rally said they are willing to make compromises to get their athletes back to practicing and playing.

"I don't need to be in the stands. I don't need to be there as long as they can get what they need in order to be successful and move past this," Grimsley High mom Valarie Tutuh said.

Burnette was surprised by the turnout from several high schools around the district. He hopes it sent a message to school administrators.

"I would hope they took everything into account of what they heard from every student athlete, every parent, every coach today," Burnette said, "To look into the decision they made and hopefully there is an improvement or a new plan in place."

Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon Contreras issued the following statement on the rally:

“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."

Tutuh and other parents plan to keep this call going at another rally for school sports on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Latham Park.

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