INDIANAPOLIS — School starts July 30 at Washington Township Schools in Indianapolis, but all classes will be online. All extracurricular activities have also been suspended. A group of senior student-athletes are asking the school board for the chance to get back on the field.
The North Central seniors representing a variety of sports produced a video pleading for the chance to practice with their teams again.
"I want to get to practice and playing as soon as possible, and if anything does get canceled, at least we'll have done something rather than just cancelling it out of precaution,” said Micah Green, a senior football player.
Sterling Stewart lost her junior soccer season to a concussion. She doesn't want to lose her senior season, too.
"Sports are such a big thing of all of our lives,” said Stewart. “It keeps us motivated to do well in school. It gives a lot of kids chances to go to colleges with scholarships that they might not have been able to without it."
The school board meets Wednesday. Student athletes hope to convince board members to allow sports practices to resume, even while classes remain exclusively online. The senior athletes also started an online petition for extracurricular activities to resume.
The school district issued a statement from the board Tuesday afternoon:
Per the School Board resolution of July 13, “5. All in-person District extracurricular, co-curricular, athletic events or programs are suspended. This applies to programs already started for the 2020-2021 school year, or postponed or not yet begun for the 2020-2021 school year until further notice from the District.” And 2. “The Board of Education will evaluate public health metrics for Marion County at its regularly scheduled Board meetings to decide when to begin implementation of the Washington Township Reopening of Schools Plan (2020).”
At this time, the board plans to hear the information item regarding the reopening of schools, currently listed on the agenda for Wednesday night’s scheduled school board meeting. There are no plans at this time to amend the agenda.
RELATED: Read the full board resolution here
Washington Township is the only school district in Indianapolis to suspend sports practices. A brand-new turf is being installed at the North Central football stadium, but is off limits to the team for now.
"Everybody is practicing,” said North Central senior running back Moni Oluwaasekunowo. “You go to each school. You'd see them practicing in the morning. We practiced for like four days and then they cut us off. So, we're the only ones not practicing. We really hope for a season."
The athletes have support from the family of former athletic director Paul Loggan, even though he died from COVID-19 in April and may have been infected at a sectional basketball game.
"If my dad was here, he would be fighting for these athletes,” said Loggan’s daughter, Sami. “That was something I promised myself when he passed was to carry on his legacy. I think part of his legacy would be fighting for these athletes to play, to do what they love."
Sami just graduated from North Central and participated in recording a message in the video.