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Friday night lights are officially back on in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE - High schools have now wrapped up the first week of regular season football in Louisiana. It comes after the start of the season was delayed a few weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect night for football with the cool, crisp fall weather that’s descended upon the state, just in time for Friday night lights to officially turn back on.

Players and coaching finally got the chance to hit the gridiron for a late first game in early October, with all the familiar sights, sounds, and smells too.

But there’s a least one team in East Baton Rouge Parish that had to be sidelined this week because of COVID-19.

“Kinda gets you emotional, a little bit, knowing how hard they’ve worked, not knowing if they’re gonna get a chance to do it. And now it’s finally Friday night and were excited,” Dunham High School head coach Neal Weiner said.

Fans and families were also excited to return, as well, with a great match up between the Dunham school and Parkview Baptist.

“We’re ready to get under the lights man. We’re happy to get football started, we’re ready to see our son play tonight,” William Johnson said.

But fans will not be able to exactly pack the stands this year, with all stadiums required to limit seating capacity to 25 percent. There are also a few other changes, like temperature checks at the gate and a mask requirement for everyone entering.

“Yeah I think everybody’s used to the safety distancing and the masks and so forth,” Dunham parent Kevin Hayes said.

But well before Friday night’s kickoff, Woodlawn High School had to cancel its game against riverside, after three people on the team tested positive for the virus.

“We used to say you’re only guaranteed 10 games. But the truth of that is you’re not guaranteed that. And now that’s absolutely evident like we’re dealing with right now.”

Despite the unknown and a few changes, most are just happy to be back in what is considered to be a happy place for many in south Louisiana.

“There’s nothing like playing under the Friday night lights,” Johnson said.

Be sure to watch The Friday Night Blitz every Friday night at 10:35 p.m. on WBRZ for high school football highlights from all over the greater Baton Rogue area.

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