Friday night high school football returns but with coronavirus restrictions

Saturday, October 3, 2020
Friday night high school football returns but with restrictions
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Football games were played Friday night at some schools across the area, but restrictions were in place.

LANGHORNE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Friday night was a big test of how high school football was going to look in the age of COVID-19.

The Friday Night Lights shined at Harry Franks Stadium at Neshaminy High School.

The Neshaminy Redskins played against their longtime rivals the North Penn Knights on a brisk autumn night.

"Thank God, I'm so happy for them," said Tom Hutchinson.

"I'm so excited," said Stacy Bonner, whose son is on the team.

Only the home team's fans - wearing masks - were allowed to attend.

Marty Hetrick drove from Allentown just to see his grandson play, who is in his senior year.

"If there's a problem with COVID-19 on the team or whatever, this may be the only time I'll even get to see him play," said Hetrick.

Hutchinson's son is also a senior and wouldn't miss this game for the world.

"You'll get me crying. I'm just glad that they're here and I love you guys, love Neshaminy," said Hutchinson.

Across the Delaware River in Palmyra, New Jersey, it was the opening game between the Panthers and the New Egypt Warriors.

Masks were also required and parents had to sign a daily COVID-19 questionnaire for their son playing football.

"Says that they don't have any symptoms of COVID," said Palmyra Athletic Director Mike Papenberg.

In New Jersey, each school district has a different idea of who they're letting in to watch the game.

"For example, we are just allowing families in only," said Papenberg.

And after learning of President Donald Trump's diagnosis:

"I think anyone could get it. I mean it is what it is. It's a disease, wear a mask, wash your hands" said John Percodani, of New Egypt.

"I just feel like if you're gonna get it, you're gonna get it right? You just got to live life man," said Josh Harris, of New Egypt.

"Everyone does masks, 6-feet distancing, but we got to get back to normalcy, got to get the kids on the field," said Stephen Falicki of Palmyra.