The gates of Ed Bryant Stadium will be open for high school football Friday night. But the experience watching the Franklin County Lions and Banks County Leoopards play will be a bit different as precautions will be put into place for the coronavirus pandemic.
CARNESVILLE – The gates of Ed Bryant Stadium will be open for high school football Friday night.
But the experience watching the Franklin County Lions and Banks County Leoopards play will be a bit different as precautions will be put into place for the coronavirus pandemic.
The precautions will focus on students participating in the game and will ask adults to act responsibly by social distancing and wearing masks.
“If we take care of our people we are responsible for, I think that’s the main thing,” Athletic Director Jason Oliver said.
“We have done and are doing everything in our power to go by every guideline we can to keep these kids safe and on the field,” Coach Paul Sutherland said.
Members of the football team, cheerleading squad and band will be isolated as much as possible from the crowd at the game, Oliver said.
Students on the field won’t be allowed to go into the stands or make trips to the concession stand.
Band members won’t be doing their “third quarter mingle,” Oliver said.
The bathroom farthest from the gate will be sectioned off for use by Franklin County and Banks County band members only.
Tickets will still be sold at the gates, but visiting fans will be directed to the gate on the visitor’s side.
Signs provided by the Georgia High School Association with recommended guidelines will be posted in the stadium.
FCHS has also released a protocol for fans and visitors. It reads:
1. All stadium personnel will undergo temperature checks prior to entering the stadium.
2. All spectators are expected to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the stadium. Spectators with fevers or any symptoms are asked to stay at home.
3. Social distancing is to be observed by all spectators. Families need to stay together while seated in the stadium.
4. Wearing a mask is not mandatory, but it is highly suggested.
5. There will be no restrictions on stadium capacity.
6. The visiting school may bring their marching band. Each band will have a section of the bleachers that will be marked and the band should practice social distancing as much as possible.
7. No spectators will be allowed onto the field at any time unless invited (Senior Night or Homecoming). There will be no pick-up football games, tag games, etc. before, during or after the game.
8. The concession stand will be open, but must follow state guidelines for “Restaurants, Bars and Banquet and Catering Facilities/Services.” All concession workers must wear a mask and gloves. Any individual in line at concessions should practice social distancing.
9. Media with credentials will be allowed on the sidelines with administrative approval.
10. Supervision will not be provided in the practice field area. Parents should supervise children at all times.
The protocol notes that “all procedures and protocols are subject to change.”
Oliver said school officials may make adjustments for future games – particularly one with an expected large crowd like the Stephens County game – based on how things go at the Banks County game.
Oliver said the school system focused on protecting participants at the game “knowing that we have very little control over what adults will do.
“People have to make their own choices about how to do this,” he said.