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'It Is Challenging': Mass. High School Football Teams Navigating Scheduling Issues During Spring Season

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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton reports.

Video Transcript

PAULA EBBEN: A delayed football season has turned into a real grind for high school teams. Good evening everybody, I'm Paula Ebben.

KEN MACLEOD: And I'm Ken MacLeod. COVID has simply scrambled the schedule as you might imagine and left many football teams struggling to find someone to play. But as WBZ's Paul Burton shows us, coaches and players still say it's worth it.

PAUL BURTON: It's been one tough football season for so many programs across the state. The pandemic has forced many programs to cancel games and force others to look for a last minute opponent to play.

JOHN MAGLIOZZI: Give us a ball, give us a team, give us a field, and we'll play.

PAUL BURTON: Billerica Memorial High School has been struggling all spring season to find an opponent to play. They've had two teams cancel on them in the past two weeks.

JOHN MAGLIOZZI: Oh we got three weeks in, but unfortunately the last two weeks last minute cancellations have forced us into scrambling on Twitter and every connection possible to try to find a game for the kids.

JACOB METIVIER: It's just tough. Tough on the coaches as well, because we've prepared the whole week for a certain team and we're watching film and everything.

PAUL BURTON: And it's happening all over. Now instead of focusing on the X's and O's of the game, teams are more concerned about crossing their T's and dotting their I's to make sure they're adhering to all the COVID-19 safety protocols.

DAVID PALAZZI: It's a lot of work. I mean it is challenging, you know on one side you have safety issues, on the other side you know you don't want to make a mistake.

PAUL BURTON: Billerica has had to cancel two games in what is already a shortened season. And just last minute they got a call from Middleborough, who was also looking for a team to play. So even though it's 75 miles away, they signed right up. Billerica has only played one home game this season on their new field. And because they have to travel away, they had to postpone their senior night.

DUANE SIGSBURY: Unfortunately they lose senior tonight, you know there's senior banners for the cheerleaders and the players are up. And you know that's an important night for our program.

PAUL BURTON: But just like the hard knocks of football, these players are learning if you get knocked down, you have to get back up.

- Honestly, I was just happy that we even had a season this year.

PAUL BURTON: In Billerica, I'm Paul Burton, WBZ News.