OAKLEY (KPIX) — March is typically not the time of year for football but the Friday night lights are back on as schools in the Bay Area try to salvage some sort of season.

In Oakley, March 12 marked the first Friday night football game in about a year and, while everything on the field looked fairly normal, the stands did not. They were practically empty except for a few people who got special tickets to the game

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“Most of us have been waiting two years to play so it’s exciting and it’s fun,” said Vincent Nunley, a senior on the varsity Freedom High School team which hosted Campolindo in Oakley Friday night.

The teams are required to test weekly to be able to suit up on game day. It’s not just about the football. The cheer team tried to rally a subdued crowd at Freedom High. According to public health guidelines, fans, for the most part, weren’t allowed.

“What we are allowing tonight is two observers (per player). What an observer is is a parent or guardian from your household,” explained Kelly Manke, the principal at Freedom High School.

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While Friday night football may not feel quite the same, the kids finally have a piece of normalcy back in their lives.

“I think it’s good for the kids, they needed this,” said parents Sasha and Alonzo Jackson.

Head football coach Andrew Cotter agrees.

“A lot of people are hurting. This is the chance for us tonight to start dusting ourselves off and kind of getting back to normal,” Coach Cotter said.

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Freedom lost its home opener, 27-23. Football started Friday but, come next week, the school will open to in-person classes in hybrid mode.