GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) –- Some high school athletes are spending their Labor Day at football practice.

Many coaches and players have been anxious to get back on the field since the coronavirus pandemic has postponed the start of the season.

Last week, after seeing COVID-19 numbers trend down, the AIA voted to allow football practice to begin on the holiday, Monday, September 7, even though there’s no virtual, hybrid, or in-person school.

However, like everything else, new guidelines are going to make practice feel and look different.

This morning, the Mountain Ridge High School football program in the Deer Valley Unified School District in Glendale held practice at 5 a.m. to avoid the heat.

Head Coach Doug Madowski explained some of the changes which include players showing up with face masks. He said locker rooms are closed for changing and only available if players need to use the restroom.

According to the AIA guidelines for games and practices posted online, some of the rules include no spitting, handshakes, or hugs. 

As for drills on the field, he said there will be little contact… for now.

Other high school football programs plan to start practicing today including Desert Edge, Boulder Creek, and Horizon.

Even though the AIA has given the clear for all high schools to begin practice, not every district will be jumping on board.

The Phoenix Union High School District is sticking to postponing practice and the season.


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