Updated: March 19, 2021 11:12 PM
Created: March 19, 2021 10:18 PM
GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — The term "Friday night lights" carries a whole new meaning for high school athletes. Football is back, and students are finally allowed to play games. Some parents and spectators were also allowed to safely cheered from the stands.
Zachary Harnischfeger is a senior a Greece Athena High School. He says, he almost couldn’t contain his excitement while gearing up for Friday’s game.
"Hey, it feels great, beautiful new stadium, under the lights nothing like Friday night football,” Harnischfeger said.
School officials were also in excitement, not only to watch the student-athletes play but also to experience the new stadium.
"There has been a buzz all week waiting for our first ever Friday night lights here at Greece Athena,” Athletic Director Josh Lacy said.
Spectators making their way up the bleachers, took a second to tell News10NBC how happy it makes them feel to have a piece of normalcy back, not only for them but for their students as well.
"We are very excited we didn't think that this was going to happen and it’s a good thing because the kids need this,” Greece parent Sunday Arena said.
With a new stadium, new lights and new turf, Greece Athena says this is just the beginning of taking back some normalcy.
"They love the idea that they get to play football, it might not be a fall setting the leaves aren't turning colors and it’s not a fall night but it’s a spring night and especially for our seniors who have been with the program for five years,” Lacy said.
Players are allowed to have two spectator passes each. They say being able to hear and see people in the bleachers is just the icing on top of the cake.
"A few months ago we weren't all sure if we were going to be playing football so it’s great to be out here with my teammates and coaches,” Harnischfeger said.
Parents say it’s a breath of fresh air to see others in a social setting.
“Some of the parents, we have all become friends with the kids and everything so it’s nice to see them and be out it’s just an awesome feeling,” Greece parent Susan Roberts said.
School officials tell me that they hope to get the entire community back in the stands soon and that other sports teams have something to look forward to as they prepare to upgrade other fields.
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