High school football season to start with new precautions

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
The crowd at a packed, pre-pandemic high school football game. Credit: WINK News

High school football starts Friday, and only a fraction of parents and students are allowed to go to the games. Lee County schools are capping crowds at 25 percent capacity. Collier County is limiting attendants to two people living with the student-athlete.

“Just to be able to have the presence of at least your parents or a couple people per family means so much, because playing in empty stands is not as exciting as playing with people who are actually watching you,” said Community School of Naples senior football player Damon Donalds.

Private schools like the Community School of Naples or Bishop Verot High School can set their own rules, and crowd size won’t be the only thing different this season.

“Temperature check everybody before they come to the stadium, make them all wear masks, make them sit in their family pods and then go from there,” said Bart Weiss, Director of Athletics Operations for the Community School of Naples.

All the players care about right now is taking the field once again — something normal for a change.

“I love the sport so much, and every year it’s been about the same set routine,” Donalds said. “Now that we’re out of routine I’m just excited to get back on the field, be able to suit up and just be able to play.”

“I think it’s really really important to family members to see their sons and daughters play at some point, especially after everything we’ve been through since March,” Weiss said.

The National Federation of State High School Associations network, which shows games from across the country, will livestream some local games starting Friday, Sep. 4.

Other schools will try to stream on Facebook Live, including Barron Collier High School, Golden Gate High School, Lely High School, Palmetto Ridge High School, Evangelical Christian School, Canterbury School, and Bishop Verot High School.

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