‘Game by game’: Utah high school football season set to kick off amid coronavirus uncertainty

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MIDVALE (ABC4 News) – When the teams kickoff the 2020 Utah high school football season,  your local stadium will look different under the Friday night lights according Utah High School Activities Association Executive Director Rob Cuff.

“You’re going to see a lot of social distancing,” Cuff told ABC4 News Monday. “You’re going to see a lot of hand sanitizing stations. You’re going to see signage. You’re going to see stadiums at about 25 to 50 percent full.”

If that. Districts are following the guidance of their county health departments on attendance. The Salt Lake City District, still under the Orange Phase, will not allow fans while Canyons and Alpine Districts will limit stadiums to 25 percent of capacity. Davis District teams will keep stadiums half full while teams in the Jordan, Granite, and Ogden Districts will give each player an allotment of four tickets, then possibly distribute a limited amount to students. 

“Return to Play” guidelines mandate temperature checks for players and masks for coaches, participants, and spectators. There will be fewer players on the sidelines as teams are restricted to just 50 per game and if a team winds up having a coronavirus outbreak, players will quarantine and games will be canceled.

“There are 10 possible games in football, we may see a school play seven. We may see another school play five,” Cuff said. “If we get down the road in a few weeks and we see that things are hyping up again and the trend’s going upward, we may start our postseason earlier.”

So with everything up in the air, there’s no guarantee of how or when the season will end, but coaches and players are hoping for the best.

“Everybody seems to be excited about it that we’re starting off,” Cuff said. “How long we last, we’ll take it game by game and we’ll be happy with everything that we get.”

The season kicks off Thursday night when Davis High School visits Herriman followed by a full slate of games on Friday night.

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Emily Florez
Rick Aaron, has more than 24 years of experience in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer. Originally from Mississippi, Rick graduated with honors from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and began working at KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles.

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