ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Student-athletes in Anne Arundel County rallied Monday night ahead of the county school board’s Tuesday night meeting during which they are expected to lay out plans outlining how sports may resume.

The county’s school board met virtually Monday night to lay out their plans for elementary education. Under one plan, which the board did not approve, students would be taught using a hybrid model, meaning they’ll have two days of in-person learning and three days of virtual learning per week.

In school buildings, desks would be spaced apart and masks required. Parents would ultimately have the choice to send their children back to school or remain with remote learning under that plan.

On Tuesday, the school board will outline plans regarding high school sports. Ahead of that meeting, student-athletes called on members to let them play.

Outside the fire station in Severna Park, high schools put aside their rivalries and teamed up to demand the ability to play sports beginning this fall.

“We worked so hard for this, and for us not to go back it’s just really sad,” Broadneck High School student Lily Trout said.

“We want to practice as much as possible and also play as much as possible,” Drew Jerdal, a junior and football player, said.

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Last month, state leaders announced fall sports practices could resume October 7 and competitions could return October 27.

Some club sports have also resumed with restrictions, and now it’s time for schools to do the same, former Gov. Bob Erlich said.

“Athletics is a hugely important part of the high school experience — the American experience really — and these kids are being left behind,” he said.

Some parents and students alike echoed Erlich’s comments.

“Even if you’re not in the classroom, sports help you focus in school and gives you something to work for,” Broadneck High School student Olivia Orso said.

“There’s risk by them just stepping out on the field for injuries and other things out there,” Mike Johnson, the parent of a student at Broadneck, said.

It’s not just recreation at stake, football player Kevin Mezzaache said: it’s also dollars.

“I really want a season,” the Arundel High School senior said. “I need it for college to help out with money.”

The school board is set to discuss two options Tuesday and also outline plans for other extracurricular activities like band and athletic clubs.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the hybrid in-person learning plan was approved. The board did not sign off on the plan. District spokesperson Bob Mosier said the schools are in “limbo” currently without a finalized reopening plan.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner

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