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Athletes, parents rally at State Capitol for the start of winter sports

Speakers ranged from high school athletes, to retired professionals Darren McCarty and Andre Rison, and legislators like Representative Bill Huizenga.

LANSING, Mich. — Hundreds of high school athletes and their parents from all over the state of Michigan rallied on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing to fight for the start of winter sports.

Organized by the group Let Them Play, the rally featured more than 20 speakers ranging from high school athletes, to retired professionals Darren McCarty and Andre Rison, and legislators like Representative Bill Huizenga.

"At the end of the day, we know seniors need vaccines and need to be taken care of, but not high school seniors," Huizenga told the crowd. "We're talking elderly seniors, right?"

High schools from all corners of the state were represented, including multiple from the UP. Maryellen Trewhella and a few of her basketball teammates made the 9-hour trek from Houghton.

"It's just awesome to see that there are so many people here with us that agree we should be able to play," says Trewhella. "Everyone around the country is playing but us. I think it's really cool that everyone else can see that."

Coopersville High School senior Ethan Coady took the spotlight again for the second time this week. On Thursday, he testified before state legislators and earned a large round of applause from Saturday's crowd.

"I knew there was an entire state of athletes, fellow Michiganders who felt defeated," says Coady. "Who felt their voices did not matter. Who felt our elected officials and people we were supposed to look up to had forgotten us."

As it currently stands, high school winter contact sports are set to begin on February 21st.

RELATED: ‘Let Them Play’ rally taking place at State Capitol

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