New York State high school athletes received great news over the weekend.

On Friday, January 22nd New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (and the New York State Health Department) announced that high-risk high school sports can start back up on February 1st, 2021 according to a Tweet from Bob Duffy.

According to NYS, high-risk sports include "sports and recreation activities with similar abilities to maintain physical distance and/or limit exposure to shared equipment prior to such equipment being cleaned and disinfected" as well as the following:

  • football
  • wrestling
  • ice hockey
  • rugby
  • basketball
  • contact lacrosse
  • volleyball
  • martial arts
  • competitive cheer & group dance

We spoke with Spackenkill high school's football coach Clinton DeSouza, who told us that their initiative to get student-athletes back on the field has been well received. The #LetThePlay campaign had student-athletes, teachers, parents and elected officials writing letters to Gov. Cuomo making a case on why high school sports should make the return.

When it comes to if DeSouza thinks they'll be a season he said "We're hopeful, I think so. [Dutchess County Executive] Marcus Molinaro has been awesome in this whole campaign of letting them play. He's willing to work with the Dutchess County Department of Health to follow the proper guidelines."

Coach DeSouza explains that once the county officials and health departments give the "ok" to play, it's up to the school districts and superintendents if they can carryout their specific safety protocols.

At the beginning of January, Hudson Valley student-athletes, coaches and officials, like Kiernan Lalor, came together to start the #LetThemPlay campaign for high school football and other high-risk sports to return this spring.

DeSouza adds that they are not looking for "special consideration." Hudson Valley teams will follow all COVID-19 protocols by wearing masks during play, using hand sanitizer and social distancing when they can.

 

KEEP READING: See how sports around the world have been impacted by the coronavirus