▶️ Friday Night Lights: Fall football, fans return to the High Desert

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The Mountain View Cougars will head to Hillsboro on Friday to square off against the Century Jaguars.

This marks the first of many high school football kickoffs around the state and that begs the question: what will the shining silver stands look like when the community comes back to cheer their hometown heroes?

“You know I don’t think there’s anything better than the first game out of each year, right? Everybody has waited a long time. These kids, especially our seniors, have really put a lot of time and work and effort into it so they’re excited,” said Brian Crum, Mountain View head coach.

At Cougar practice today… electricity beamed through the grass.

The program has seen several hardships throughout the pandemic.

Last year… the Cougars remained undefeated in a Central Oregon-bound season.

Most recently, the team took a hiatus due to COVID contact tracing, but the Cougs are clawing to get a normal season underway.

“Oh it feels great. I mean I’ve been playing with some of these guys since middle school and elementary school so its just one last ride with my boys,” said running back Sayre Williamson.

For fans, Oregon School Activities Association will not require proof of vaccination for entry to fall sports.

But according to the OSAA, individuals not “actively participating” in physical activity or not able to maintain a 6-foot distance will have to wear a mask.

That includes athletes, cheerleaders, fans, and band members when they are not playing instruments.

Bend-La Pine Schools Athletic Director Lance Haas stresses school officials are working their hardest to ensure a normal experience for fans, and especially student-athletes.

“All we’re asking is we want it to be as normal of an environment as possible, but also the safest environment possible. And so you know we are going to ask that you wear your mask as much as you can outside,” said Haas.

The Cougars hope to carry their undefeated streak into the 2021 season, and when those familiar lights shine on their first home game next Friday, they’ll hear the fans cheer, just as they used to.

 

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