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Maine student athletes rally to #LetThemPlay

Athletes, parents, and supporters hope to create a sense of urgency for decision makers.
Maine student athletes rally in Augusta to let them play fall sports.
Maine student athletes rally in Augusta to let them play fall sports.(WABI)
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 5:08 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The school year has started for many students across Maine, but a decision on playing fall sports is still up in the air.

Athletes, parents, and supporters rallied at the State House Monday to create a sense of urgency for decision makers.

“The idea was to get people together, come to this rally and really rally hard for all the sports and all the extra curriculars. That includes band, that includes theater, that includes football, soccer, track you name it,” said James Libby, who was supporting the Bonny Eagle School System.

The Maine Principals’ Association is working to finalize a return to play protocol that fits within state guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Students were initially prepping for Tuesday. But that was delayed another week until at least September 14th.

“We would really appreciate if the Maine leadership, the Maine elected officials to look at the MPA guidelines, they were well researched and well thought up over a very long period of time,” said Jennifer LeBlanc, a parent of student athletes.

Jennifer LeBlanc helped create the Facebook group #LetThemPlay Fall Sports in Maine that now has over 11,000 members.

She is worried about the mental toll this is taking on her children and many others.

“The anxiety, the depression, its been really really tough to see our kids not be themselves,” said LeBlanc. “The idea of coming back to school this fall and playing sports was the one thing they were holding onto.”

Student athletes like Ezra Michaud are already preparing for the fall season and are just waiting for the green light.

“A lot of kids worked their butts off in the off season, especially since corona started, and we just wanna play,” Michaud said. “For some kids it’s all they look forward to, this is their chance to get into college, to get looked at for all of that and they might not get that chance.”

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