MNPS athletes, parents want to know when sports will return as other counties resume play

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NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Thousands of Metro Nashville student athletes said they’re disappointed they won’t be starting their sports seasons Tuesday. Many are now asking when they can actually expect to get back out on the field during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, Davidson County health and education leaders penned a letter asking all local area schools to postpone sports and extracurricular activities through Labor Day, all in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The news was disappointing to some student athletes, and then it was made worse.

At the end of August, Metro Nashville School’s director, Dr. Adrienne Battle, announced that all Metro sports would be postponed until further notice.

News 2 spoke with several parents and student athletes on Labor Day who said it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Christi Mayo’s daughter, Grayson, plays soccer at Overton High School. She’s worried the season will be over by the time Metro Schools allows her daughter to play.

“These kids are being penalized and it’s not fair,” Mayo said.

Shaneka Bell has two sons that play football at Hillsboro High School, and Enjoli Ausmer has one. Both moms said they feel like families have been left in the dark when it comes to decisions being made about the 2020 season.

“They come up with a game plan, and then you turn around and it’s changed,” Bell said.

“Everybody’s pointing. Well it’s the School Board. Then the School Board is like it’s the Mayor. Then the Mayor is like it’s the Health Department,” Ausmer said. “Just let them play.”

Limited practices resumed for Metro student athletes this summer, but neighboring counties and other Davidson County private schools have resumed both in-person learning and athletic competitions.

“You know charter schools, Metro charter schools are being allowed to play,” Mayo said.

Todd Holsenbeck’s son, Ethan, also plays football at Hillsboro High. He told News 2 that Metro’s decision making does not seem transparent.

“It just seems like we’re kind of in a limbo state and it almost feels like that’s the plan. To not provide an answer until the end of the season,” Holsenbeck said.

Ethan Holesnbeck pointed out that his is his senior football season, and scholarships could be in jeopardy without updated game film.

The families that News 2 talked to on Labor Day afternoon said none of it feels fair, and they hope Metro Schools leaders change their minds.

“It feels like we’re practicing just to be practicing, like not knowing if we’re going to play or not,” Hillsboro High football player Davien Hill said.

“To know that their friends, their cousins are still playing, but to know that they can’t? That hurts,” Bell said.

In August, the Metro Health Department also recommended that no sporting events take place until each participating school has resumed in-person instruction. Right now all Metro students are taking online classes.

Metro Schools has announced they plan to start phasing the district’s youngest students back into the classroom after fall break on October 12. Students with special needs will be offered an in-person option starting September 9.

Dr. Battle has not made any further public comment on the status of sports and extracurricular activities since the decision to postpone until further notice was made at the end of August.

The next Metro School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 8 at 5:00 p.m.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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