SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — It’s time for touchdowns and field goals for Louisiana prep football fans.
High school teams got the green light Wednesday to put on pads and start playing games.
“I’m super excited that they’re able to go ahead and compete, even if it is a shortened season,” Woodlawn Leadership Academy football coach C.J. Byrd said.
Under the previous Louisiana High School Athletic Association COVID-19 guidelines, teams had to wait for the state to move to Phase III and could only hold no-contact practice. The association later voted to start the season regardless of which phase Louisiana was in.
However, Gov. John Bel Edwards moved the state to Phase III just two days later.
Now teams will be holding full scrimmages starting as early as Sept. 24. Woodlawn Leadership Academy will play Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy on Sept. 25.
“The great thing about it is everybody’s in the same boat,” Byrd said. “Nobody has been able to do anything full contact. It’s an even playing field.”
This year was especially important for seniors to make memories and potentially get collegiate scholarships, he added.
“So many times, we don’t think about the advantages they have to get out of their situations and better themselves.”
Football also is a way for players to escape from reality for a small period of time, Byrd said.
“When they step out on this football field, they get the opportunity to not worry about what’s going on for a few hours. they get the opportunity to take out their frustrations on somebody else. They get the opportunity to disappear from the real world for a little bit.”
The eight-game regular season will start Oct. 1. This is a week earlier than the original Oct. 8 start date.