BILLERICA (CBS) – It’s been one tough football season for so many programs across the state. The pandemic has forced many programs to cancel games and force others to look for a last-minute opponent to play.

Billerica Memorial High School has been struggling all spring season to find opponents to play. They’ve had two teams cancel on them in the past two weeks.

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“We got three weeks in, but unfortunately the last two weeks, last minute cancellations have forced us into scrambling on Twitter and every connection possible to try to find a game for the kids,” said Director of Athletics John Magliozzi.

“It’s just tough. And it is tough on the coaches as well. We prepare the whole week for a certain team, we’re watching film and everything,” said Billerica High School football player Jacob Metivier.

And it’s happening all over. Now instead of focusing on the X’s and O’s of the game, teams are more concerned with crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s to make sure they adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols.

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“It’s a lot of work. I mean, it is challenging. On one side, you have safety issues, on the other side, you don’t want to make a mistake,” said David Palazzi, the Athletic Director at Leominster High School.

Billerica has had to cancel two games in what is already a shortened season. Just last minute, they got a call from Middleboro, who also were looking for a team to play. So even though it is 75 miles away, they signed right up.

Billerica has only played one home game this season on their new field. And because they have to travel away, they had to postpone their Senior Night.

“Unfortunately, they lose Senior Night. Their senior banners for the cheerleaders and the players are up. That’s an important night for our program,” Billerica Football Coach Duane Sigsbury.

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But just like hard knocks of football, these players are learning if you get knocked down, you have to get back up.

Paul Burton