East Lansing football strong despite pandemic concerns

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Better late than never.

Although it looked like political football was the only game that might be played this fall, East Lansing High School is making the most of an abbreviated season.

A Sept. 6 reversal revived football, volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s swimming and diving this fall at East Lansing High school. Athletes in other fall sports will have to wait.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced that a swap of fall and spring sports had been judged as unfeasible and a reduced schedule for fall sports was approved.

Athletic association Executive Director Mark Uyl said, “Our student-athletes just want to play, and we’ve gone far too long without them playing. But doing so safely, of course, remains the priority.”

East Lansing didn’t get to play its first game because Covic concerns forced Portage Central High School to forfeit. East Lansing opened with a non-league win at home against River Rouge, 21-6 on Sept. 25.

East Lansing players were ecstatic to get started.

Receiver Andrel Anthony, a No. 1 Michigan receiver prospect, tweeted: “First game [tomorrow] im T’d [up].”

East Lansing offensive tackle Ethan Boyd posted, “It’s ‘bout that time.”

On Oct. 5, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced face coverings will still be required for all athletes.

The athletic association announced that referees “The referees will also be required to wear face coverings when not involved in active officiating which includes arrival at the site, pregame duties, timeouts, intermissions, extended stoppages in play and postgame responsibilities while still onsite.

No more than 30% of spectator seating will be permitted at games.

While the governor, the athletic association and the health department have been taking care of things off the field, East Lansing High School has been taking care of business on the field.

The team is 80-0 in October with a 17-0 Oct. 2 win over Waverly and a 63-0 blowout of Holt on Oct. 9.

East Lansing’s next games are against 3-1 Grand Ledge on Oct. 16 and Okemos on Oct. 23.