SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A favorite high school tradition for many returned on August 28: Friday Night Football Under The Lights.
Every other row is blocked off with caution tape to allow for social distancing, and one or two sections are completely blocked off. Regardless of these guidelines, students and parents agree that this doesn’t change how fun football really is.
This game was the start of DJ Cofield and Nathaniel Popovich’s sophomore year cheering on their Falcons.
“This is different,” said Cofield. “I was never expecting something like this to happen.”
“I’ve always thought about spirit during the nights that we have,” said Popovich. “Like all the fun stuff that we do. I never thought I’d be having to wear a mask.”
Before the game started, the public address announcer reminded everyone of the COVID precautions they should be taking.
Some fans appreciated Glendale’s safety approach.
“I actually like the caution tape, it kind of gives a little more space and it’s all clearly marked which is really handy,” said Jerri Myers, a student’s mother.
The student section still came out to support the team, but they were reminded by the school administration to follow COVID-19 safety measures.
“I mean, I obviously wish it was different, but I’m just glad to be here,” said Cofield. “Glad to be able to come.”
“Just enjoy it, you know,” said Popovich. “Still see my friends.”
Even seniors feel the same way.
“I think that we can just enjoy what we have and just have as much fun as we possibly can,” said Jaiden Harbour, Glendale senior.
Harbour is on the varsity cheerleading team.
“We have to wear masks as much as possible unless we’re doing something physical,” said Harbor. “We have to keep clean, so we have to sanitize all the time, and we have to sanitize all the equipment that we use. I think we’re a little overboard on it, but at the same time, I think it’s necessary.”
Jerri Myers says continuing on with the season is the right move.
“The best thing you can do is take all the precautions that you can and you know, you can’t stop everything altogether,” said Myers. “That’s part of having the life and everything like that. I mean, you have to make some compromises. I think as long as they’re being as safe as they can and taking reasonable precautions, it’s good.”
Jerri has two stepdaughters on the cheerleading team. She says being there to support them is still just as fun, and the spirit of the game makes everything better.