High school football kicks off in Springfield, district taking COVID-19 precautions in stadiums

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 9:15 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Friday was opening night for high school football in the Ozarks, and it kicked off with the fight to keep the coronavirus off the fields and out of stands. Springfield Public Schools made new policies for its stadiums to keep players and fans safe.

“I was really happy to see the band coming onto the field. It made me feel like, just for a moment, everything was normal and good,” said Lindsey Dumas-Bell, whose child is a Parkview High School senior.

Few things will be truly normal at football games in Springfield this fall, though. District Athletic Director Josh Scott said his team has been preparing for this season since the spring.

“We’ve been waiting for this day since March 14th,” Scott said. “So hopefully that excitement, that joy and just the understanding that things are a little different and we are asking a little more from our fans this year.”

Scott said players and coaches will be screened before being allowed into the stadiums. Fans will not. He said that means the district is relying on them to practice personal responsibility.

“If you don’t feel well, please don’t come out to the game,” Scott said.

Right now, the stadiums are limited to 50% of their normal capacities. Scott would like to see fans space themselves out. Face masks are required for the fans, the coaches and the players.

“You should see our kids in masks or neck gaiters throughout, not only the facility watching the game, but also on the sidelines,” Scott said.

Concessions will be different, too.

“Everything is pre-packaged. So it’ll probably lots of candy bars, sodas and bottles of water,” Scott said.

Scott hopes fans will follow the districts’ policies to give student-athletes a full, successful season representing their school.

“We want to get to districts. We want to have the opportunity to advance. We want to get to a culminating event or tournament at the end of the year,” Scott said.

Scott said some football games in Springfield will be live-streamed online every week of the season.

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