The stadium field and stands are packed on any given Friday night during the high school football season.
That will not be the case this weekend at some stadiums across North Texas.
The spread of COVID-19 and the contagious Delta variant is forcing some teams to cancel games.
“I think it’s kind of heartbreaking. The kids and coaches put a lot of hard work into their planning and preparation for seasons,” said Silvia Salinas, Executive Director of Athletics for Dallas ISD.
That school district is among those across North Texas dealing with some game cancellations this weekend.
“We anticipate that moment to run on to the field and get ready for our game and actually play, and then we have to wait another week.”
Garland ISD Executive Director of Athletics, Dr. Ron Griffen, said his coaches also had to cancel a couple of pre-season games.
“We have COVID positive athletes that is impacting the coaches ability to build the team to go out and participate,” Griffen explained.
At least 30 football matchups have been canceled statewide according to the Dallas Morning News and Dave Campbell's Texas Football.
13 of those matchups were in North Texas, and at least 5 involved DISD.
Per the DMN, 141 games were canceled in the Dallas area last season.
At this rate, that number may be surpassed.
“We are going to continue to follow the protocols. We’re working closely with our sports medicine department, with our Dallas ISD health services, and Dallas County to ensure that we are following the right protocols,” Salinas shared.
Cancellations mean some coaches are huddling and finding other teams to play, quickly.
Teams usually left on the hook due to an opposing team canceling to COVID-19 are going up against other teams in similar situations.
Districts are levying mask and capacity mandates, while district executive committees will decide how canceled district games will be handled--either by forfeit or no contest.
Matt Howerton contributed to this report.