High school football starts in Texas...under COVID-19 rules

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- High school football is finally back on Friday night in some parts of southeast Texas.

Some 4A divisions in certain school districts will return to the field this weekend after the University Interscholastic League (UIL) created COVID-19 mitigation efforts in the summer.

Huffman ISD athletic director and coach, Mike McEachern, said he is optimistic high school football can return and be played in a safe manner. He also added that new rules will be put in place to help encourage social distancing.

"I think the first (rule) is the 50% capacity that is going to be at the stadiums," McEachern said. "I know a lot of schools, such as our own, won't be traveling. So at away games, we'll lack that atmosphere. Our fans will be wearing masks. That part will be a little bit different. I'm interested to see how that is going to go."

The Huffman Falcons will take on the Stafford Spartans Saturday night.

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Caleb Pierson and Luke Thomas are both players on the Hargrave High School team.

"It's been kind of nerve-racking just knowing that you never know when we're going to play, if we're going to play, how we're going to play," said Pierson. "Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting experience."

Thomas said he's played the game since he was a kid. He wants to be back out on the field.

"I'm excited," said Thomas. "You never know what can happen. I'm just anxious, excited, and ready for whatever comes."

Teams from the 5A and 6A divisions won't return to practice until at least Labor Day.

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