Maryland football coaches plan rally to get players back on the field

Maryland high school football players aren’t allowed to play yet, and coaches are rallying to change that.

Keith Rawlings, head football coach for Edgewood High School in Harford County, says Maryland is one of only nine states that do not have a plan to return to playing high school football.

“There’s a lot of high school football players, parents and coaches that are outraged that there’s not a season happening,” Rawlings said.

Virginia has decided to move high school football to February. In D.C., the State Athletic Association has postponed interscholastic athletics until January.

Rawlings will be joining the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association and the Baltimore Touchdown Club at the Let Them Play Rally in Annapolis on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Some recreational club sports have resumed, but contact football does not yet have a planned return date in the state.

“I think everyone should be asking the question, ‘Why is Maryland one of the few states not bringing kids back to the classroom, not having kids play fall sports when you look at the states across the country that are moving forward?'” Rawlings said.

He says that change needs to happen sooner rather than later.

“If they wait until the spring, some of our kids in Maryland would probably be overlooked by other states’ players that are playing, and colleges will be able to recruit them knowing that they have a season,” Rawlings said.

At first, Rawlings said that he thought there were going to be around 200 people at the rally, but with the support of the state coaches association and several local football teams saying they were joining, he said they’re expecting a bigger crowd.

“We could see 1,000 or more people at this event,” said Rawlings, adding that masks and social distancing will be encouraged.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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