West Virginia student-athletes rally outside of the Capitol

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) After the spring season for student-athletes was canceled due to the pandemic, many student-athletes want the chance to play again this fall.

Nearly 100 students from different teams in West Virginia gathered outside of the State Capitol Friday to rally.

Their message to Gov. Jim Justice was they’re tired of being idle.

“I already lost my junior season, I need my senior season,” said Mark Knapp who plays on the Riverside Warriors baseball team.

“I’ve been playing baseball since I was 2 or 3, you know baseball is my whole life and for some of us, athletics are the only way that we’re going to make it out of West Virginia,” he said.

Mark Knapp, Riverside Warriors Baseball

The organizer of the student rally, Jacob Caudill who plays with Cabell Midland Football team also says it’s more than just sports for him.

“For me, personally, I have colleges looking at me and they’re all basing it on what I do this next season, that’s why it’s so important for me.”

Jacob Caudill, Cabell Midland Football

When Justice arrived in a black SUV, it pulled directly up to the doors of the Capitol. Bypassing the students who had formed a crowd along the walkway.

Some of them began to shout “Coach, let us play!”

Students then huddled together watching the conference with their mobile phones.

Justice ultimately announced the school sports season would go on this fall, albeit delayed.

“We came here thinking that we might not have one at all … I don’t care if it’s pushed back or later, we’re just happy that we have a season,” said a girl volleyball player.

High school football practice will start mid-August. Volleyball and cheer will start on Sept. 2.

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