The Cicero-North Syracuse High School Northstars field hockey team is the first team to compete at Bragman Stadium since last November.
For parents like Johnsteven Melfi, there’s only one way to describe it.
“Amazing. Amazing," said Melfi, whose two daughters play field hockey at C-NS. "These girls have worked through the spring and the summer for the season not knowing if they were going to have a season, just to get back to some normalcy. It’s amazing. Amazing.”
Melfi and the other spectators are wearing masks. They’re sitting socially distant in the stands, which is easier this season since each player is limited to two guests.
Before entering the game, fans scan a QR code. They answer questions about possible symptoms and fill out a form in case the school needs to do contact tracing.
“If we can do things safely, it’s fine," said Melfi. "It’s fine. If we have to go through the bells and whistles just to make sure everyone is safe, I’ll do it to watch my kids play and their team.”
The soccer team is wearing masks, too.
It’s all an effort to follow state guidelines, and the state has final say over competition. Right now, only low and moderate risk sports can compete this fall.
Athletic Director Tim Bednarski says it’s a relief to be hosting games.
“Enjoy this because we don’t know what tomorrow brings, and things have changed so rapidly," said Bednarski. "We’re fortunate to be out here playing, but that could change at any minute, and they could shut us down due to the COVID-19. So we’re taking it one day at a time and enjoying the moment.”