It's time for football under the Friday night lights in Tampa Bay. Of course, there will be changes due to COVID-19.
Regardless, for so many players, it's crucial for the chance to go to college.
For Lennard High School's Amarie Jones he needs football to get noticed by colleges.
"I'm a special talent that's really unknown right now but is starting to come up. So, I believe this year is going to be a real big year because I'm stepping as a leader for my teammates. I'm also playing really well and excelling. I prayed about it and I was like we're going to play. There's no way we wouldn't play football," explains Jones.
But there's no doubt, this year will be different. In most districts, you'll see socially distancing where possible and no handshakes or high fives.
For fans, masks are mandatory and seating is limited. In Hillsborough County, players, the band, staff will only get four tickets. In Pinellas, stands are at a 25% capacity.
Regardless, tickets must be purchased electronically.
Matt Kitchie, head coach of the Lennard High football team, says, "There's a lot going on in the world right now. Not just COVID but all the other things going. For these kids to get two hours of no distraction is just huge for these kids. "
Here are the plans local school districts have in place for the year:
- Hillsborough County: Return to Athletics Plan
- Pinellas County: COVID-19 Return to Play
- Polk County: Athletics Department
- Pasco County: Athletics Information
- Sarasota County: Athletics during COVID-19
- Manatee County: Athletics Information