High School football returned for many communities across Wisconsin Friday night with major changes in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In the season opener between Wauwatosa West and Catholic Memorial, each player and coach were allowed to have two tickets a piece to be given to immediate household members. Only a couple hundred fans filled the stands throughout the game.
There were no concessions or student sections and everyone besides the players were required to wear masks.
“It’s quiet, it’s a little bit hard to cheer,” said parent Brian Connolly.
Most importantly for Connolly, his son was able to take the field.
“It’s a little bit interesting that they’re not in school five days a week but there’s still football going on.”
Given the capacity limitations, dozens of fans not allowed inside lined the fence of the stadium to watch at a distance.
“I would kill to be out there to be honest with you,” said Wauwatosa West student Sal Newkirk.
Newkirk said that’s because he’s on the football team. Due to a family member showing symptoms of COVID-19, he had to quarantine and miss the first game of his senior season.
“We all got tested, fortunately they all came back negative, but it was just too late for me to come back,” he said.
Just a few months ago, parent Tiffany Pevey thought high school football wasn’t going to be a possibility this fall.
“I’ll admit, I’m happy for our boy, but concerned from a safety perspective so it’s a catch 22,” she said.
Now, Pevey’s son is going to school in-person five days a week at Catholic Memorial and attending football practice each afternoon.
“It’s interesting, having said that we still have to have some sense of normalcy,” she said.
Throughout Wauwatosa West’s season, only immediate household members of players and coaches will be allowed to attend football games.