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Fall football returns to Tampa Bay area high schools

Lakewood High School in Pinellas County will open up its season at home Friday night against Gibbs.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As Friday night lights get ready to re-illuminate the skies over Tampa Bay, high school athletic programs are taking extra precautions to keep their student-athletes and spectators safe.

Lakewood High School in Pinellas County will open up its season at home Friday night against Gibbs. The school and others in the district are limiting capacity to 25 percent, meaning only around 300 parents and fans will be able to enjoy Friday night’s game on the home sideline. The visiting team will be allotted around 150 seats. Tickets will be electronic and must be purchased online.

And while Lakewood remains COVID-free, other Bay area schools are feeling the impacts the coronavirus. Lakeland High School in Polk County was forced to cancel its first two games of the season along with Zephyrhills and Land O’ Lakes High in Pasco.

Palm Harbor University High School in Pinellas canceled its first game of the season this week, and two Manatee County Schools had practices impacted earlier this summer.

Other school districts including Hernando and Citrus have delayed the start of their seasons until later in the month.

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