Mass. high school football teams finally begin season with new guidelines

NEWTON, Mass. — High school football teams across Massachusetts finally began their season Monday.

“For some of these guys, this is the most physical activity they’ve had in quite a long time, and we’re excited about that,” said Nick Capodilupo, head football coach at Newton North High.

He says this unique season comes with new restrictions for student athletes, like social distancing and wearing a mask at all times.

Plus, under new state rules, teams can no longer huddle or have a team handshake.

Football practice is also starting indoors, in gyms, instead of on snowy fields.

“I mean it’s not how I thought it was going to be, but this is it, and I’m going to make this year count,” said Jamari Brewster, a senior football player. “It’s the closest thing you get to normal.”

Seniors on the team say they don’t mind the new rules as long as they can finally play their last season of high school.

“We’re so happy that we have a chance to go out there, especially for awhile it looked like we weren’t going to,” said Bruce Burba, a captain for the football team. “We’re just kind of savoring every second.”

Coach Capodilupo says the football season will be shorter than other years with only ten weeks, but he says getting these students back into sports is huge after a very isolating year.

“The energy level is high, we’re very happy we’re cautiously optimistic in terms of we know we could lose this any day,” said Capodilupo. “This all about getting kids together and connecting that’s really what our prime focus is.”