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COVID-19 changes how crowd watches HS football

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 10:36 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Friday brought a night of firsts for high school football. It’s the first time many players have been able to compete - and the first time fans had to go through major COVID-19 restrictions to watch.

Seaman High School’s first game of the year was played at home against Washburn Rural.

The changes were noticeable not just in the crowd - but on the sidelines as well.

Nearly everyone in the stands was wearing a mask, including coaches and cheerleaders down on the track.

Safety changes started before people stepped foot into the stadium. Steve Bushnell, USD 345′s athletic director, says the district decided to cut capacity in the stadium by over 80-percent.

“We had to turn quite a few people away,” he said. “We figure we average between 2,500 and 3,000 on a given Friday night, and to limit that to 500 was definitely a challenge.”

The select few allowed inside had to pass through a quick temperature check at the gate. Once in - people were kept as spaced as possible.

Cheerleaders, band members, and coaches were kept apart from one another.

Bushnell hopes the district can keep the competitions going as long as COVID-19 infection rates stay down.

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