Tri-Cities student athletes greatly affected by pandemic restrictions

PASCO, Wash. – As the Tri-Cities faces another set back in reopening, so do student athletes.

“We’re kind of like a race horse in the starting gate, ready to go; we’ve been there for months,” Athletic Director Gregg Huisingh said.

Huisingh, with Pasco High School, said they’ve been doing everything in their power to get athletes back in action.

“It’s important that kids are interacting and that they’re physically active, both physically and mentally,” he said.

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So far, some sports have had limited practices but no competitions or games.

“They just want their turn,” Huisingh said.

Unless you live on the other parts of the state.

“They do not have the same opportunities that other students in our state have been granted, and that is a huge inequity,” Melissa Callway from Richland said.

Melissa Callway’s daughter, Anna, is a senior on the Richland High School Volleyball team. She wishes the governor would pay attention to how cautious athletes have been, just to practice their sport.

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“They are being very careful and in a controlled environment because they want to get on the court to play,” she said.

Callaway said some athletes have been able to play on traveling club teams, but that’s not an option for everyone.

“That’s not an opportunity that’s afforded to all the student athletes in our region, it’s just not feasible and it’s inequitable,” she added.

With Inslee’s latest announcement, Huisingh said they’ll have to rearrange their game plan for local student athletes.

“It’s a challenge but we are gonna have to modify what we’re doing because obviously we’re back two weeks more now but we’re gonna try to provide everything for our kids we can so we can salvage something,” he said.