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'Let us play': High school students rally in Olympia to resume fall sports

Student-athletes rallied on the Washington Capitol steps Thursday to play sports this fall after most activities were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 150 people, mostly high school student-athletes, chanted "Let us play" on the steps of the Washington State Capitol on Thursday.

They are upset about most high school fall sports being delayed into next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Rally organizers started an online petition that got more than 25,000 signatures since Monday.

Kennedy Catholic High School senior quarterback Sam Huard said athletes in Washington don't think it's fair students in more than 30 other states are already playing fall sports.

”They’re getting a lot of opportunities guys here in this state aren’t," said Huard.

He has already committed to playing at the University of Washington, but he said he got involved in the petition and rally to support his teammates who hoped to get the attention of college recruiters this fall. 

"It’s just really important for a lot of people to play here in the fall and get that done,” said Huard.

RELATED: Washington student athletes start petition to allow sports this fall

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Director Mick Hoffman said it was "awesome" that students organized a petition and rally to try and get sports back on the fall calendar.

Hoffman said the WIAA originally delayed the start of fall sports a couple of weeks, but when Gov. Jay Inslee and the state's Department of Health put out guidelines, recommending extra-curricular activities be postponed until in-person instruction resumed, the insurance companies told the WIAA that ignoring state recommendations could cause problems with liability insurance for sporting events.

Hoffman said individual districts could choose to play games, but that could be a risk.

”We're not going to go drive our car without insurance," said Hoffman, "And a school district without liability coverage really puts their community in a very difficult situation. So I think that's probably the biggest challenge that's out there."