SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A big decision was announced on Wednesday, some high school sports were given the go-ahead for the upcoming fall season, but three sports, including football, will have to wait till next year.
Western Mass News spoke with local athletes about the new guidelines during the pandemic.
As you can imagine, high school student-athletes are full of mixed emotions, but they want to get back to playing the sports that they love.
Gabrielle Bartolomie is like many other student-athletes who are passionate about playing sports. She loves basketball and soccer.
"Playing sports is a time where we can all work towards a common goal even if we are not in the same classes, and I feel like that allows kids to build characteristics that are important, like perseverance and teamwork," Bartolomie explained.
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Associations (MIAA) board of directors approved the recommendation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the MIAA COVID-19 task force to allow low-risk sports, like soccer, to go forward starting on September 18.
"Exciting that we will be able to play, hopefully, but I think it all depends on the modifications cause. The modifications are good to keep us all healthy, but if there are too many modifications, it puts the integrity of the sport at risk," she said. "I feel like at that point, as if it’s not the sport that we love, it would be better to cancel."
But sports that are considered high risk, including football, cheer-leading, and unified basketball, will be pushed back to a floating season, or fall season two.
The MIAA said that season would start in February, which coincides with the current winter sports season.
Elliot Degray, a junior in Chicopee, who plays both basketball and football, spoke on the phone with Western Mass News.
"I don’t think I would be able to be in both rosters, like for both teams,' Degray explained.
He told Western Mass News if he has to choose one sport over the other, he will pick football.
"My teammates and I want to play football. Football is what brings [us] together," he said. "It gives us something to look forward to, something to work hard for, something to keep our grades up for."
Practices for high-risk sports will still be allowed in the fall, but they must follow safety precautions.