High school sports have been put on hold throughout the state of California and several groups have been rallying across the state to see games return, including here on the Central Coast.
On Friday, as a part of a larger movement called "Let Them Play," Templeton High students, athletes, parents, and community members joined in to organize a rally asking for the return of high school sports.
“We are pretty much just showing our community that we still want a season...that we haven't given up, that we still are preparing for a season," Templeton High senior athlete, Chase Richards said.
Templeton High parent, JR Taber has three kids in school.
“[We are] just bringing awareness to all the plights of all these kids, you got a lot of seniors out here and it’s really really sad especially since they saw a lot of their senior buddies last year not get to finish their seasons,” he said.
Some Templeton High athletes say they don't know when their season may start again, but they still want to be prepared.
“It’s kind of been challenging because we don’t know when we are going to play, but at the same time we are still hoping for a season," Richards said.
Senior athlete Tyler Kaschewski says not having games to play his senior year took an emotional toll.
“Growing up with my team and not being able to play my senior year is really hard," he said.
According to a statement released by SLO County Public Health:
"As to youth sports, some youth sports are still allowed under the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order as long as they follow the state’s guidance on this topic. That guidance can be found through links on our readyslo.org website here: https://www.emergencyslo.org/en/guidanceforsafeoperations.aspx#34-Youth-Sports-Not-Adult-Rec-League-Sports- [emergencyslo.org]. As always, we encourage people to get outside and exercise, just do so in a manner that is safe and according to guidance and best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19."
While students can practice and train if they comply with social distancing guidelines and county tier status's, according to the California Department of Public Health, tournaments and events involving more than 2 teams are not permitted in the state of California and inter-team competitions are on hold until at least Jan. 25.
Templeton High athlete Gavin Taber says baseball has been a positive outlet for him.
“Baseball is basically hope. I cope with everything I have going on, when I am on the field I basically forget about everything else I have going on in life," he said.
Parents at the event asked that the state allow students to return to sports safely.