Cary high school football players wearing face coverings during games as coaches work to keep students safe

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CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — It was another week under the Friday night lights as high school football advanced to week three in the season.

As teams across central North Carolina executed the x’s and o’s on the field, Middle Creek High School head coach Andrae Jacobs said he’s working to keep players and staff safe.

“[We have] 10-minute periods on how we schedule practice. We keep our kids separated — JV and varsity. So, if we ever have an issue, both teams don’t have to go down. We have so much support from everybody on the outside,” Jacobs explained.

For Jacobs and his squad, this week is the first week his team decided to wear masks on the field.

“We’ve been wearing masks anyways. In the buildings and outside. So, really want to wear that now and push that in Wake County,” he said.

“You know, it’s no big deal. We wear them in school every day. So, whatever it takes to be out there,” Middle Creek High School senior Adam Booker added.

This is also the first week under new COVID-19 protocols for Wake County Public Schools.

According to Wake County Public Schools, because of the rise of COVID-19 clusters and exposures involving high school athletics, face coverings are required for students unless they, “are directly participating in games, practices and performances.”

Face coverings must be worn on the sidelines.

This applies not only to all sports teams but the band, student groups, cheerleading and junior ROTC.

“We just got to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves within our football program,” said Jacobs.

Wake County school officials are also encouraging people that come to the games to wear a mask and social distance, also.

A spokesperson for Cumberland County Schools said in an email, “because of COVID-19 protocols with Cape Fear’s team, Terry Sanford picked up Southern Durham” to play Friday night.

They also wrote that the game between E.E. Smith High School and Clinton High School was canceled because Clinton’s team was under quarantine.

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