COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After an unusual start to the fall sports season, Columbus student athletes are getting ready to start playing again.
High school football teams across Columbus had their first games last week. Then, this week hit and fields were empty. Practices were not allowed because schools were closed while the Columbus Education Association was on strike.
“It was awful man, I almost cried not being able to be on the field,” said Tito Glass, a running back on the Marion Franklin High School football team.
His teammate, Adairius Allison, was also disappointed when practices and this week’s game were called off.
“When we first got the news, it kind of gave us that weird feeling that we got going into COVID, it just felt unstable,” said Allison.
Teachers make up almost 60% of the coaching staff and extracurricular advisors, according to Columbus City Schools (CCS). So, while no football teams went head-to-head Wednesday night, the bargaining teams for the Columbus Education Association (CEA) and the district had a marathon meeting ending with a tentative agreement.
“Made my day, felt great,” said Glass about when he heard about the agreement.
CCS says athletic, band and drill team practices will start up again on Friday.
“I feel great, I feel eager to get back on the field with my team and just go ahead and grind harder,” said Allison.
As for games, CCS says school athletic directors will give updated information on upcoming game schedules to their teams in the coming days. The district says all other activities besides sports, band and drill team are still canceled for this week.