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Players back to practice after AIA reverses winter sports decision

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Winter sports will now be allowed to take place, after the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) reversed their original decision.

On Tuesday, the board voted again, this time it was 5-4 in favor of winter sports.

“I don’t have words to explain. I just can’t wait to be on the court,” said Senior at Pueblo High School Getsemani Cazares. The second vote is giving her a second chance to play one last time after being out with an injury her junior year.

“This is what I’ve wanted since I got hurt. All I wanted to do is get back on the court and play the last year with my girls and my sister.”

In order to play, the AIA is requiring coaches and players to wear masks during games. Pueblo Head Coach Ismael Galindo has his team wear them at practice as well.

“The girls have to wear them. I tell them if they need to get air, to walk and go outside to the corner and breathe where no one else is around,” said Galindo.

The board of medical advisors to the AIA still stands by their recommendation to not continue with sports as usual because of the state’s rapid rise of COVID-19 cases. And for Galindo, the risk isn’t lost in the excitement. But he’s willing to take whatever precautions necessary to play.

“Just let the kids play. No parents, parents, however they want to do it. Whatever is the safest way just let them play.”

The winter sports season gets started on January 18th.

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