MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile County’s first football game of the season at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 20, brought out fans eager for some Thursday night lights. One year ago when LeFlore played Williamson, a visible threat of a shooting happened. This year, the danger is an invisible virus.
COVID-19 caused several changes to MCPSS games. Several new rules are visibly posted around Ladd-Peebles Stadium, but not everyone followed the guidelines.
An intercom in the stadium announced, “Do not sit on any red marked with tape. Violators will be asked to leave the stadium. Please do your part to make sure our athletes have a successful 2020 season.” The message played several times throughout the game.
Most people WKRG News 5 saw followed that rule, but one new guideline was broken. Several people either had their face mask pulled down, or were not wearing one at all.
Most fans did have their masks on. Some in attendance were not even fans of either high school, but just missed live sports.
One man said, “I’m really excited. I’m actually a Vigor fan. I can’t wait until Vigor plays, but it’s going to be fine. This is going to give me a good start here.”
One woman said, “I have mixed emotions. The kids need an outlet, but we also have to make sure they’re gonna be safe. I’m glad to see that Mobile County has brought its athletic part back.”
Even a school board member made it out for the MCPSS season’s first kickoff. Dr. Reginald Crenshaw said, “We’re excited for the kids. Think they’ve worked hard all summer. I think they need a way to express all that energy and let their energy out.”
Dr. Crenshaw said in this new normal with COVID-19, adjustments had to be made. He said, “At the end of a game, how the teams would come together and shake hands, that’s not going to happen. They’re going to space themselves and do a high five like in the air.”
With Ladd having a 7,000 COVID-19 capacity, Crenshaw does not think the stadium will sell out this season.