Friday Night Lights Returns: COVID causes canceled games and no-contact tickets

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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The return of Friday Night Lights had its challenges and triumphs in the Queen City.

While some games kicked off to great fanfare, others never even started.

At Charlotte Catholic High School, the Cougars took on the Ragin’ Bulls from Hickory Ridge High School.

For some parents, they were here just a few months ago.

“It’s the first game this year. We came in the spring, when last year’s games were played in the spring. So we got two seasons for the price of one, thanks to COVID,” said Dave Parks, a Charlotte Catholic parent.

Unlike in the spring, which had capacity limits on some of the games, there were no limits or mask mandates.

One big change is the ticket.

Charlotte Catholic encouraged fans to download their tickets to their smartphone, in hopes of cutting down on hand-to-hand contact.

“It was no big deal,” said Kristen Smith, “we went through with no problems.”

But the bright lights weren’t shining so bright for all schools.

In Rock Hill, the game between Indian Land High and Northwestern High was canceled due to COVID concerns.

For those who did get to take part in a time-honored tradition, the experience was just like they’ve grown used to through the years.

“A lot of seniors and a lot of juniors have really missed their experience,” said Parks.

“So for them to have some sense of normalcy is important for them.”

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