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High school football practices begin across Mid-Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo.

UPDATE 8:21 p.m.: Columbia Public Schools delayed the start of the school year until Sept. 8. CPS Athletic Director David Egan said CPS practices will continue until at least the end of the week.

High school football teams across Mid-Missouri held their first official preseason practices on Monday.

MSHSAA is allowing high school fall sports to go on as planned this year. Week 1 of the football season is scheduled for August 28th.

Rock Bridge football coach Van Vanatta said his team is taking precautions to keep his players and staff healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance - coaches and non-participating members wore masks.

Coach Vanatta said the biggest difference for him this preseason will be checking in all of his players at the beginning of practice. He said he has staff members asking players basic questions about their health. The players also will get their temperature taken before each practice.

"It’s different," Rock Bridge senior running back Bryce Jackson said. "It’s definitely going to be a different atmosphere, but I think we’re just happy that we get a season. We’re not going to take it for granted."

Coach Vanatta said once his players hit the field, it's business as usual. However, he encourages them to stay distant when possible. He also is encouraging his team to take things one day at a time during the pandemic.

"Since this whole thing’s been going on - the two things I’m pretty sure about is my faith is definitely strengthened and you know the fact that today is what we’ve got and that’s what we’re going to take advantage of," Vanatta said. "We’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow."

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Andrew Kauffman

Andrew Kauffman is ABC 17’s sports director. He started working at the station in 2015.

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