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Penfield teen petitions Cuomo to let volleyball be played

Rich Donnelly
Updated: September 21, 2020 06:52 PM
Created: September 21, 2020 06:15 PM

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monday is the day that thousands of athletes in our area have been waiting for. After more than six months of being shut down, Monday is the first day that high school sports are allowed to practice, but not all of the sports are coming back.

During a normal fall, gyms would be packed as both boys and girls volleyball teams across New York State would be competing in their regular season. But this is far from a normal fall, and the State of New York has deemed volleyball to be a high-risk sport even though the National High School Federation considers volleyball to be a moderate risk. That's where Penfield junior Cassie Thayse leaped into action.

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"We all want to play our sport, we all enjoy it and that's why we do it, we love it," Cassie said.

Recently, Cassie started a change.org petition with the hopes of convincing Governor Cuomo to no-longer consider volleyball to be a high-risk sport. It has nearly 20,000 signatures.

"It's great to see everyone around the state agree with what I'm saying and what we're saying in Rochester," Cassie said. "I feel, and several thousand people feel there are precautions that can be put in place to play safely."

Cassie says that those precautions are quite simple.

"We're all touching the same ball, but balls can be switched off between plays and sanitized, that's not a big issue. I think the big one is face to face contact, but they do make plastic sheets that you can put over nets to eliminate that factor," Cassie said.

A high school athlete, petitioning the governor for a chance to get back on the court.

"We just want to play and we feel that we can play safely and that there's a way that we can put precautions in place that will allow us to play safely and still enjoy the sport that we like to play," Cassie said.

Currently, New York State hopes to offer volleyball during what it's calling "the second fall sports season" beginning March 1 but Cassie says that by that point, recruiting opportunities for seniors might be missed because other states are playing volleyball as normally scheduled this fall.


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