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Petitioners rallying for a sports comeback once Sacramento schools reopen

Sacramento County's planning guide list sports that are recommended to reopen once schools reopen, but many contact sports did not make the list.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Concerned parents from the Sacramento area have made a petition urging their school districts to bring back all sports once schools reopen. 

The petition has over 13,000 supporters and continues to generate momentum.

“If I couldn’t cheer anymore, I would be so sad I would cry,” said Taylor Cullum, a cheerleader at Escalon High School.

Cullum and Christopher Falcone, who plays football at Pleasant Grove High School, both believe playing sports is about more than just having fun on Friday nights.

“It makes me kind of sad. I mean those were going to be some of my best high school memories, and I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to play football,” Falcone said.

Falcone said sports have been a big motivation in motivating him to do well with his academics.

Cullum said her coaches played a huge part in helping her and her teammates persevere through hardships and in learning some life lessons.

“If you need a place to stay or anything is going bad, they will always be there for you,” Cullum said.

Sports are not completely off the table, yet. Sacramento County’s 2020-2021 school planning guide includes swimming, cheer leading, tennis, golf, track, cross county, and diving as recommended sports by Sacramento Public Health Officers, however, they would need modifications for social distancing. 

However, contact sports like football, basketball, water polo, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, softball, and soccer are not recommended.

David Falcone created a petition to bring back high school athletics to all Sacramento area schools. He says parents and students want to know about more than recommendations; they also want to know when athletes will be able to play again.

"Nobody expects for everything to go 100% back to normal. As parents, we understand that safety is the number one priority, but we know this can be done. Other counties and cities in the Sacramento area have figured out a way, so why can’t Sacramento?” David Falcone said.

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