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At nearly 140 locations across California, athletes, coaches, parents and community members are coming together Friday to advocate for the safe reopening of youth and high school sports.

High school sports in California have been shut down for more than 10 months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, high school football seasons have already been played in 35 states this school year.

Athletes and coaches from the San Diego Section gathered Friday morning to spread their "Let Them Play" message to local and state government officials.

Westview senior defensive lineman Mandela Tobin, who signed with Duke University last month, spoke about what playing high schools sports means to him.

"Playing football or any other sport is so vital to many teenagers across the country, and especially here in the state of California," said Tobin. "We play so that we can release ourselves and make sure that we have fun and make us forget any hardships that we have at home."

Dan Albano of the O.C. Register & O.C. Varsity reported that "Let Them Play" rallies were taking place at 138 locations throughout California on Friday afternoon, mostly at 4 p.m.

Per Cal-Hi Sports, the total number of participating schools will be well over 138, since multiple schools will be present at every location.

SAN MATEO RALLY

ROCKLIN RALLY

LA VERNE RALLY

FRESNO RALLY

HUNTINGTON BEACH RALLY

Stay with SBLive for updates from the rallies as they are held around the state on Friday afternoon and evening.