OKCPS Prepares For Fall Football Season Amid COVID Surge


Friday, August 20th 2021, 4:50 am
By: Kelsey Kernstine


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Football across the Oklahoma City metro has looked a whole lot different for high school students over the last eighteen months. 

With the rise of COVID 19 cases across our state, school districts like Oklahoma City Public Schools are doing everything they can to let kids keep playing while staying safe. 

"The number one priority is the safety of our kids and our staff and coaches. that's our priority,” OKCPS athletic director Todd Dilbreck said. 

Northwest Classen’s Senior Football Player, DJ Hal said he and his teams are happy to be back on the field and “they are ready to play.” 

“We are hungry, we’ve been waiting all summer, training hard, and working hard,” Hal said. 

Hal said last year really took toll on the team, several teammates even dropping out of school. “It kind of hurt the team, brought us down, we couldn’t play because of it," said Hal. 

The head Football Coach Mike Riggs said he feels the optimism this year. "The morals great, the kids are happy to be out here," said Riggs. 

But Riggs said there are several precautions in place to keep the game safe. “We make sure we try to clean all of our equipment, disinfect it after practice, we social distance, we keep helmets on, everything is prepackaged." 

Masks are required inside; the team isn’t using water bottles. The team is using a water cow, where the water streams up to keep the players hydrated. 

Riggs also said fans and parents are required to wear masks and social distance at the games, but encourages everyone to come out. 

"We need to support these kids because I can only imagine what they've been going through the last year a and half,” Riggs said. 

Athletic Director Todd Dilbreck said if there is a positive COVID 19 case, the district said he will treat safety with top priority. 

"If a child or a fever or a cough, they don't come to practice. If a child has a fever or cough, they don't go to school. I don't think we can go on what ifs in this situation."