MANSFIELD (CBS) – The sights and sounds of high school football are back in Massachusetts. Mansfield hosted Franklin Friday night under the lights, kicking off a spring season.
Fall sports across Massachusetts were called off over coronavirus concerns. Players, especially seniors, we’re unsure if they would ever have the chance to play again in high school. Mansfield senior Nico Holmes says getting back on the field for a spring season is, “definitely something special.”READ MORE: 19-Year-Old Stabbed In Neck During Melrose Home Invasion
Senior defensive lineman TJ Guy, who is committed to play football at Michigan, says, “it’s surreal, I mean, we’re out here playing football in March!” He goes on to say, “I’m just grateful, man. I’m grateful and excited to keep going.”
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Things look a bit different from a player’s perspective. First, they’re required to wear a mask on the field. “I think the kids are just used to it,” says Mansfield head coach Michael Redding, “they seem to kind of just accepted it, and adjusted.”
Another adjustment for the reigning Division 2 champions is fewer fans in the stands. Only two adults and two siblings are allowed per player. “They sign up ahead of time and fill out a COVID questionnaire,” said Mansfield Athletics assistant Carrie Ciccarelli.MORE NEWS: Major Winter Snow Storm With Blizzard Conditions Possible Saturday
Right out of the gate, Mansfield jumped ahead in the spring season opener. Running back Cincere Gill led the team to a dominant 49-7 win. After the game, the senior simply said, “It’s great to play football…It felt very special.”