Bay Village athletes organize march calling for district to allow fall sports, extracurricular activities

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BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WJW) — Student athletes are refusing to give up their “seasons” without a fight.

Wednesday afternoon, more than 150 Bay Village athletes marched down Wolf Road wearing their team colors as if they were headed to a grudge match.

They stopped in front of the Bay Village Schools Administration building on Dover Center Road where they were joined by dozens of parents and coaches.

“We all kinda got together like we gotta do something,” said Brock Pickett, BVHS Senior Soccer Player. “We look at this as first step to getting to a season.”

Pickett and fellow Rocket soccer player Macey Ault organized the rally after learning Saturday that the district was canceling all athletics and extracurriculars due to COVID-19 concerns and a recommendation by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

“We’re all really frustrated and schools around us hadn’t cancelled,” said Ault. “So we look to do this as a way to get our voices heard.”

The rally seemed to garner community support with a number of residents stopping and beeping their horns as they drove past the crowd.

Around the same time, the Rockets rivals over in Rocky River were also holding a similar rally.

Pirates football players organized the protest of about 100 and purposely held it right before a Special School Board meeting Wednesday.

“We want to show our support for student athletes and our teammates and want a season,” said Matthew George, RRHS Senior Football Player. “We just want to show them physically that we want to have this happen and we can do it while taking all the proper precautions.”

After much debate, Rocky River administrators said they were “looking to reopen athletics and activities in earlier phases implemented this summer, continuing the use of proper safety protocols.”

Similar steps were announced in Bay Village too.

Bay administrators released a statement that said in part, “Presented with conflicting information from local and state agencies, Bay Village Schools suspended activities and athletics Saturday, August 1.  After thoroughly reviewing all agency guidelines and recommendations as well as our already in place student-athlete daily health screen protocols we have unpaused athletics and activity training as of tomorrow, Thursday August 6.”

Superintendent Jodie Hausmann also said, “We praise our students for exercising their free speech rights.  We are so proud of their approach to problem solving.”

Students were excited to get the good news, but say they are also still concerned.

“We’re thankful for that, but still there are no guaranteed games, so we’re looking for a real season with games this year,” said Ault.

Much of that depends on other districts.

Wednesday night, North Olmsted announced that they would be conducting online learning for classes but restarting sports too.

While North Royalton has decided to move forward with canceling sports and remote learning.

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