Stillwater Public Schools cancels sports games this week after Payne County enters the state’s ‘Red Zone’ for COVID-19 cases

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STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – The Stillwater School District announced Monday all athletics and extracurricular activities are canceled for the week of September 13-19 after the superintendent determined COVID-19 levels are not safe. 

However, some student athletes and their parents strongly disagree. 

Dozens swarmed the Stillwater Administration Building Monday afternoon hoping to get the attention of Stillwater Superintendent Dr. Marc Moore. 

The district sent out an email notifying students and parents this week all sports games are canceled. 

Stillwater Tight End Luke McEndoo calls the news a gut punch. 

“We just want him to hear us,” Luke McEndoo said. “They kinda left it up to a one man decision.” 

“I don’t know if my senior season got ripped away from me,” Senior softball player Alex Griffin said. 

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Payne County is in the red zone for COVID-19 cases. Health officials are concerned, calling Stillwater a COVID-19 hot spot. 

Late Monday night SPS released this statement to KFOR: 

“Stillwater Public Schools did not take the decision to cancel athletic and extracurricular events for this week lightly. 
When our county received a “red” designation this week, SPS implemented its COVID-19 Athletic and Extracurricular Activity Safety Protocols, which called for a cancellation of all activities to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within our community, as recommended by the Oklahoma Department of Education School Safety Protocols.
Stillwater is consistently showing one of the nation’s highest rates of spread and high positivity levels from testing. We ask that the people, businesses, and other organizations in Stillwater work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community so that in-person extracurricular activities and instruction may resume for the children of Stillwater.
We know our students want to play and learn together, and we desperately want that for them as well.”

The district is also sticking with all online learning and will re-evaluate each week based on the increase of cases. 

“If we are going out to eat, if you are going out to Walmart, if you are leaving your home, then are we truly in a pandemic?” Parent Keysha Sanders said. 

“I can’t let the school board be treated this way,” Senior Sara Moore said. “I needed to say something.”

Senior band member Sara Moore and friends were standing on the opposite side of the street supporting the school district with signs of their own. 

“If you get sick, you can’t play sports,” Moore said. “If you die, you can’t play sports.”

So far, Oklahoma State University has been given the green light to play the University of Tulsa Saturday at home. 

According to Stillwater’s Athletic Directory, zero student athletes have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Parents also tell KFOR they have reached out to a team of attorneys moving forward. 

The district announced Friday’s football game against Bixby will likely not be rescheduled, but they are looking to reschedule district games. 

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