High-risk sports await approval, athletes and coaches still hopeful – WBNG-TV

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(WBNG) — Last week, athletes in the Southern Tier learned high-risk sports could return if approved by local health officials.

“I was beyond excited when I first found out,” Seton Catholic senior Brett Rumpel said. “It felt like Christmas. Missing out on a senior season would be devastating to me.”

Basketball is one of the sports hoping to return next week. While many teams in the area have been holding non-contact workouts the past few months, players and coaches are eager to compete.

Seton Catholic senior Reese Vaughan said getting back on the court will help make everything feel a little more normal.

“Basketball is such a big part of my life,” Vaughan said. “Now that I’m able to hopefully play, it has brought a new light in my life that I was going to be missing.”

Maine-Endwell basketball coach Will Ocker also said he’s excited for the kids to get some normalcy back.

“They’ve had to sacrifice a ton,” Ocker said. “From an athlete’s standpoint, they’ve had a lot held out what would be a normal experience.”

If they have a season, Ocker said they’ll do everything they can to follow protocols, but it’s also up to the athletes to remain responsible.

“From what they’re doing outside of school to how they conduct themselves knowing that a mistake could keep them from experiencing something they’ve been waiting a long time to get a chance to do,” he said.

If the get the green light, Rumpel and Vaughan agree they will be ready to go.

“I’m excited to go out and compete and win as many games as possible,” Rumpel said.

Just getting to play against anyone is just a really exciting feeling, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Vaughan.

Jason Garnar’s office said they are meeting with stakeholders this week on how to move forward with the change, and also coming up with a plan to keep everyone safe.

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