High school football season kicks off in Cookeville with COVID-19 precautions

Coronavirus

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s time to kick-off the high school football season under very different circumstances and with concern about the safety of athletes and fans.

The Upperman Bees and Cookeville Cavaliers kick-off with a rivalry game Thursday. They are going to play at Tucker Stadium on the Tennessee Tech campus. The stadium’s capacity of about 17,000 but that’s been cut to one third.

Fans will have to wear masks and have their temperature taken at the gate. Social distancing will also be required in the stands.

Administrators said they have been cautious leading up to the opener.

“Cautiously optimistic is a good term. I think we were, everybody is still expecting good things but in the back of your mind you know what’s happened throughout the country, so I don’t think you are surprised, no matter what happens,” said Steve Robbins, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Cookeville High School.

Upperman and Cookeville kick-off at 7 p.m. Robbins also said they had their first sporting events on campus this week and those went really well.

“I just hope we can have a season, a 10-game season as normal, hope the cases stay very low, and teams won’t be affected. I know some have been affected in our county, just hope we can stay safe
and continue to get better and have a season for these people,” said Robbins.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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