Duluth Student-Athletes, Parents Hold “Let Them Play” Rally

The group says they feel like they've done a good job within their respective teams of preventing the spread of COVID-19, so the possible shutdown seems unfair.

DULUTH, Minn. – Last week, the Duluth School District sent out an e-mail to parents and students, preparing them for a possible shutdown for high school sports due to an increase in COVID-19 cases tn the local community. And with a decision looming from the St. Louis County Health Department, the athletes are making sure their voices are being heard.

A group of student athletes and parents from both East and Denfeld High Schools held a rally Tuesday afternoon outside the Central Administration Building. The group says they feel like they’ve done a good job within their respective teams of preventing the spread of COVID-19, so the possible shutdown seems unfair.

“We don’t understand why we would get cancelled when we’re being safe. We’re doing what we’re required to stay safe. For tennis, every day we had to fill out a form of symptoms. We got our temperature checked every day. If anything was high, we had a game that was cancelled because someone had a fever or a higher temperature. It turns out it was nothing. But we cancelled that game. We didn’t go,” East tennis/volleyball player Natalie Goetzman said.

Duluth superintendent John Magas was also present during the rally to show his support for the athletes and to clarify that there has been no decision made about shutting down high school sports.

“If we’re thinking about what our kids need right now, we want to make sure that we’re ensuring safety and following our state guidelines, and we want to make sure that we can keep things open as long and as well as possible. And I hope that our numbers decrease and I hope the community at large also works on this so that we can have more opportunity for our kids because we would like them to be able to play and engage as much as possible,” Magas said.

“To be honest, I didn’t take away any new information. He didn’t have that many answers personally that I thought. He says he’s for that kids, but look at the towns around us. They’re having sports. They’re doing fine. This is helpful for us. If we can’t have school, this is a way for us to see our friends. If we can’t see them at school, we can at least see them at sports. And I hope that him and the school board realize that sports are important to us,” said Goetzman.

During this week’s Duluth School Board meeting, no vote was held to decide on whether or not to shutdown sports. The district is expected to meet with the County Department of Health Thursday to receive more information and guidance.

Categories: High School, Sports