Prep football is back; public schools begin play

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BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

After a long wait, high school football is officially back as most local prep squads hit the gridiron this week.

There are plenty of games on slate this week for local public high schools with a number of them slated for the night of Sept. 18.

The biggest game on the slate this week is Mainland at Spruce Creek in Port Orange.

Other key local matchups include Deltona at Seabreeze.

“We’re excited and ready to go, especially our 21 seniors. We’re optimistic and hopeful for the season,” said Seabreeze Head Coach Patrick Brown.

PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./HARDNOTTSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

‘All about safety’

Despite delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is optimistic and excitement in the air as most schools are ready to go.

Those who expect to get into games can expect a different atmosphere.

Not anyone can show up and buy a ticket. Tickets must be purchased in advance via the GoFan ap. A limited number of fans will be allowed in. Social distancing will be enforced.

That’s on top of the measures already implemented by teams and the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) and Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“It’s all about safety. We are working as hard as we can. It’s almost impossible to do during football but we have to make it work,” said Brown.

Mainland and DeLand square off for a classic prep football season opener in August 2019. The Bulldogs edged the Buccaneers 21-18.

PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./HARDNOTTSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Players quarantined

Some local schools have already been playing games like local small private schools Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona and Halifax Academy in Daytona.

DeLand quarantined about 20 players for 14 days after an assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19.

The Bulldogs’ opener against Sanford Seminole on Sept. 18 was canceled.

“We have been dealing with this thing for months. We remain hopeful, positive and with the belief that we will still be great,” said DeLand Head Coach Steve Allen.

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