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Two weeks until Game Day! Local high school football teams practice in pads for first time

Two weeks. There are only two weeks until the first local high school football games in 16 months.

This Friday marks the first day our local teams are allowed to practice in pads.

Friday night football will certainly look different this season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There will only be five weeks of games.

“All hope was lost and then out of nowhere just comes this great blessing that we could finally play a game and I’m just excited,” said Ryder Ruiz, sophomore quarterback at Xavier Prep High School.

“It was a little bit of a shocker at first, but I think we’re dialed in and prepared for whatever. I think Doc has done a great job of getting us prepared in the amount of time we’ve had and we’re ready for the occasion,” said Jack Howard, Xavier Prep senior tight end and linebacker.

All outdoor youth sports were given the green light to play in Riverside County on Tuesday. According to CIF rules, two weeks of practice are required before games can begin.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting. I think it’ll be a little nerve wracking just because, you know, it’s been over a year and some guys are really new to Varsity, including myself, but overall, it’ll just be a great feeling,” Ruiz said.

“It’s just long overdue, you know, I’m just ready for it,” Howard said.

Another big question... will spectators be allowed?

According to a spokesperson from Desert Sands Unified School District, two wristbands will be assigned per athlete for parents or guardians to attend sporting events. No children will be allowed.

"Attendees must maintain at least six feet from non-household members during attendance. Seating will be clearly marked in six feet distances. Face coverings must be worn at all times when on campus. There will not be concessions or any food allowed," the district told News Channel 3.

The district also says that high schools have the ability to stream games.

"Live streaming via paid subscription will be available and details will
soon be shared with our families," a spokesperson for DSUSD said.

Palm Springs Unified says there will likely be limited spectators, but it is still working out the details.

Coachella Valley Unified and Xavier Prep High School have not given an answer yet regarding spectators.

Stick with News Channel 3 for updates as they become available.

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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