To play or not to play

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. —  Oregonians advocating for youth contact sports to re-open held rallies in Salem and another in Medford this weekend.

Julian Cordle is heavily involved with Jackson County sports organizations and is an administrator of the #LetThemPlay Facebook page.

He worries without young athletes playing organized high school sports, their mental health may be in jeopardy.

“We want to try to balance that with the risk of addressing this health crisis. We’re ready, willing and able to do that, we just want to have those conversations,” Cordle said.

No sports could have an effect financially for athletes who were working towards impressing and earning college scholarships.

Ellie Laws is a senior at Crater High School and missed out on this past softball season.

“This is hard if kids aren’t able to play their senior year and other years and they aren’t able to show what they have to colleges who are looking where other states, some states are able to play so those students are able to show their skills.”

Laws is back at soccer practice now preparing and hoping for a fall season just around the corner.

“It’s a way for us to wind down after a hard day at school to come together with our friends working towards one goal and for a lot of us we’ve been doing this our whole lives. Our senior year is what we’ve worked for, this is it,” she said.

Traditional team sports aren’t the only ones affected as cheer squads, band members, choirs and mock trial teams await a game-changing decision.

“There are going to be some serious negative impacts for a long time related for not being able to participate in these activities. We don’t pretend for a second that this is a number one priority for the state, but we don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle,” Cordle said.

The Oregon state legislative session convenes for a special session this Wednesday and here are links to the #LetThemPlay Facebook page and to sign the petition.

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