Return Of Friday Night Lights With COVID-19 Precautions

Friday night lights bring life back to football fields across the Sacramento region.

Video Transcript

- Our other top story tonight-- the return of Friday Night lights. High school football teams taking to the field for the first time in more than a year now, playing with COVID safety rules in full force.

- And those games happening as businesses across Northern California get ready to reopen. More COVID restrictions are coming undone this weekend as California creeps toward normalcy.

- CBS 13's Anna Giles is live at Oakmont High School in Roseville tonight where football was about much more than a game tonight. Anna.

ANNA GILES: Yeah. The enthusiasm was electric tonight. This stadium hasn't seen any coaches, players, or fans for a year, so tonight's game was also very emotional.

The cheers, the plays, the whistle after a job well done-- high school football is back just in time for some who say it's their last chance.

- It's like Christmas. It's the greatest feeling ever. I get to be back on the field. It's my last year. I'm a senior.

ANNA GILES: Out here, the light at the end of the tunnel is full of cheers.

- Come on, Vikings!

ANNA GILES: The hope also brings happy tears. The last time these players were out on the field was fall, 2019.

- I've got the hair standing up on my arms right now. So excited to be out here.

ANNA GILES: Paul [? Mintmeyer's ?] son plays for the Oakmont High School varsity football team. But tonight, this game was his moment too.

- Because you remember growing up and how important all this stuff is to you, and the camaraderie.

ANNA GILES: Getting to this point was a path filled with twists, turns, and takedowns. Oakmont cheerleading coach Erica [? Morel ?] and her girls were ready for this day.

- Every week, we were here twice a week to practice just in case they said we can go. We were ready.

- Let's get ready!

ANNA GILES: But at the last minute, they got told they would not be allowed at the game, a moment that came with tears but also determination. Erica rallied the parents and convinced school administrators it was safe and COVID protocols were being followed.

- These kids work so hard. I have 18 seniors this year. And to take that away from them is not fair.

ANNA GILES: Everyone wants to be part of it. After all the Zoom classes, social distancing, and isolation, the Friday Night lights give new life.

Yeah. So much more than just a game tonight. And everything was within safety rules, the coaches and the players wearing masks. The players are also routinely tested for COVID-19.