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'Very Fragile Season': Newton North Football Team Adjusts To New COVID Restrictions

NEWTON (CBS) - Ten days into practice, high school football players are doing their best to play by the COVID-19 rules. Masking, outdoor practices and Zoom team meetings are now the standard.

At Newton North High School, there have been many adjustments for the players and their coaches, but every one of them says they are happy to do whatever it takes to be able to play football again.

"We all know to make the right decisions, right choices outside of football so we're not getting anyone in trouble, we're all staying together," said Newton North senior captain Rowan Devlin.

Their day starts with 7 a.m. Zoom meetings, because there aren't spaces big enough in the school to accommodate team meetings.

There's no locker room access, so it's back to the days of Pop Warner, when you put your uniform on at home and get in the car to head to practice. When you get to practice, the first step is checking in with the COVID coach, Assistant Athletic Director Tim Murphy

"It's how we're going to get this season to work," Murphy said. "It's a very fragile season and our kids know that, they understand that and they want to play and this is what we have to do to play."

The players have to complete a health questionnaire before they can get on the field and when they do, it's all business.

"They can't participate in any team activities until they do it, and we've just made it part of what we do," said head coach Nick Capodilupo. "We talk about if we can't trust you to do this at home, how can we trust you on third and one? You're going to do this one thing, and so they appreciate the humor in that but also the discipline involved in it and they've embraced it."

The players are just happy to be back on the field.

"I think we're more than a team, we're a family to be honest," said Newton North Junior Subomi Soyoye. "Us boys we have that bond, there's no race, there's no differences, it's just football we get to work, we fight together, we win together, we lose together. It's just a grind and we are just trying to get places together.

Wednesday was their ninth practice. They have a scrimmage Friday and their first game is a week from Saturday.

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