Players, parents, and coaches show they want to play during a demonstration at the State Capitol. JOE AMON / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC/NENC

High school football players and their parents from across the state are urging the governing body of high school sports to change course and allow for a football season this year.

This would have been Josh Martinotti’s senior season playing for Lewis Mills High School. He and his father Greg Martinotti are helping organize the players and their parents, and the elder Martinotti says he believes football can be played safely this fall.

“We are already starting October 1, which is much later than normal,” Martinotti said. “Football is  a fall sport.”

And he says waiting until spring ignores Connecticut’s low COVID infection rates. He also says 7 on 7 football, which has been proposed, is not a viable option.

Meanwhile, House speaker Joe Aresimowicz and seven other House Democrats wrote an open letter to Gov. Ned Lamont this week. They asked him to keep a conversation open between the state’s athletic conference and the Department of Public Health. Aresimowicz coaches football at Berlin High School.

Lamont said this week he’s open to alternatives.

“I thought very early on that swapping baseball and football made sense,” Lamont said. “That is an idea that never happened. But I’d still like to see a football season a little bit later.”

Another open letter from House Republicans said the decision to suspend football was not the right one — and said the season could still happen this fall if all parties work together.

This story was originally published Sept. 9, 2020, by Connecticut Public Radio.

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