High School Football Vs. COVID

3 weeks ago Triangle 0

Written by: Morgan Clark, staff writer

DAYTON, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Lee gave the green light on Jul. 31, and high school football has forged ahead in Tennessee.  However, the environment is drastically different from the typical Friday night lights. COVID procedures have been installed to protect players and spectators alike.

High schools in Tenn. are requiring masks and temperature checks. Players must complete a COVID screening prior to any practice or game. All schools are limiting ticket sales and marking off bleachers to enforce social distancing. Cheerleaders and coaches are wearing masks on the field. Student sections are no longer allowed to be packed in together.

If a player contracts COVID, their team may miss the rest of the season. If this happens, the TSAA will eliminate the team and playoffs will continue. One player displaying symptoms can prevent a 70-person team from playing. For this reason, coaches are asking players to avoid social gatherings and wear a mask consistently. 

Pearl Cohn’s head coach Tony Brunetti said, “It’s hard, all you can do is keep on encouraging, keep on enforcing, don’t hang out all the time, stay the norm and do your best social distance-wise.”

The Tennessean reports that at least 25 school districts in Tenn. have already altered their schedule or closed down due to COVID cases. Some of these districts include Coffee Co., Blount Co., Maryville City, and Bradley Co. Football is greatly impacted by these student bodies – some are still able to play and some are not.

Many high schools are scheduling senior night games as their first game as a precaution. Events such as tailgates and pre-game meals are primarily canceled. The hype surrounding Friday night football games in Tenn. has been taken down a notch in light of the COVID pandemic.

Morgan Clark is a first year writer for the Triangle. She is a Bryan College cheerleader and communication major.