KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - The Erlanger-Elsmere Independent School District has postponed its football and volleyball seasons aiming to reduce the risk of students contracting the coronavirus.
Dozens of students protested the decision outside Lloyd High School Thursday.
“I was just at a loss for words,” junior football player Blake Dorgan said. “I didn’t know what to say.”
Nearly a hundred students participated in the protest, chanting “Let us play sports!” and holding signs urging driversby to honk in support.
“Last year, as a junior, you know, I put it all on the field, and to see those seniors as happy as they were, to at least have their season, I wanted that feeling,” senior football player Michael Wallington said. “I wanted to be able to have my senior night, have my homecoming game.”
District Superintendent Chad Molley announced the postponement earlier this week, saying the district will not practice for, or compete in, KHSAA contact sports until they can do so responsibly and safely.
Katie Branch’s son is the high school’s quarterback.
“I want to keep people safe as well,” she said. “But what is the difference if we go to the grocery store rather than watching our kids play football? I really don’t see a difference in anything.”
The players, having just received their helmets this week, say the news is heartbreaking, doubly so with other nearby schools continuing with their seasons.
“Yeah, that’s the biggest thing,” Dorgan said. “There was only one other school in question, which was Bellevue, and they got told they were allowed to play next week, which is really frustrating, because our first game got taken away, and our season was already cut short, and now it’s shorter, and we might not get a season at all at this point.”
“I’m still going to keep a positive attitude for our younger guys,” Wallington said, “because they still have their chance to play as long as this COVID stuff dies down, and our juniors are able to play, I’m perfectly fine with that.”