LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — “Let them play!” It’s the rallying cry of many parents and kids asking Clark County School District to allow sports and other extracurricular activities as some students begin returning to school.
So far, the district isn’t budging.
During a gathering on Wednesday, honks of approval rang out as parents and kids waved signs asking for the chance to play sports again. It’s been tough for CCSD juniors and seniors who haven’t competed in more than a year.
“We’re at a point of numbness," said Trey Goughnour, a junior at Coronado High School who plays football and does track. It’s something he’s passionate about.
"We don’t really look forward to anything," said Goughnour. "We don’t get happy. A lot of us are sad.”
“It’s a distraction from reality for sure," he said of playing football. "When we get out there, we’re with our friends doing what we love, we forget what’s going on in the world for a few hours.”
Goughnour's goal is to get an athletic scholarship, which requires sending a game film. He says not being able to play while kids in other states can put him and other student-athletes at a disadvantage.
“It’s really difficult to get that athletic scholarship and achieve our goals when we miss an entire year’s worth of film,” he said.
Kids and parents from more than 20 CCSD high schools took part in rallies at their campuses to make their voices heard.
Anna Binder, a moderator for the “Let Them Play Nevada” Facebook page says this grassroots push is all about helping these kids.
“This affects their ability to fully succeed in life. This will forever impact them for the rest of their lives,” she said.
CCSD says the stance on no sports is in line with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s statewide pause.
The school district says it understands school closures have affected student-athletes and wants to have the opportunity for extracurricular activities, but the focus remains on academics.
CCSD Supt. Dr. Jesus Jara made it clear in previous statements.
“My number one priority is academic," said Jara. "They are 'student'-athletes and that will be my priority, so once we get our kids in school face to face somehow, then we will open it up to athletics."
Goughnour says he understand the superintendent’s reasoning but wants to point out, he and others are succeeding in school already and now just want to play.
“But so many of us have great grades. I have a 3.6 GPA and last semester I got a 4.0, and I know I’m not the only one putting in work,” he said.
For some, not playing means losing their scholarship.
“I got my scholarship my junior year and I got a full ride and I had to play this year to keep it," said Teylar Hardy, who plays softball and golf at Chaparral High School.
She says feels as if she’s a part of a forgotten class of seniors unable to make their mark for college recruiters.
“We have worked so hard for the last three years and our senior year has just gone away,” Hardy said.
Her classmate, Savannah Alger, cheers and plays softball. She says sports help kids get through school.
“The kids’ motivation to go to school and actually try is their sports,” said Alger.
There will be a school trustee meeting Thursday night where parents and students hope to make themselves heard during public comment.
Stay with 13 Action News for developments on this story.