HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla (WFLA) – Today marks the return of Friday night football for a number of high schools in the Tampa Bay area.

In Hillsborough County, student athletes are waking up this morning, ready to play after months of not knowing when they would step on the field again.

“We were hopeful the entire time, but there were definitely some time periods in there, especially when some of the numbers spiked that we were crossing our fingers that we would get to this day,” said Lanness Robinson, Atheltic Director for Hillsborough County Schools.

“Playing football is a contact sport. They are going to come in contact with each other, but it’s not for an extended period of time. A football play is six seconds so hopefully that will help with the spread as well,” Robinson added.

Although teams have been given the green light to play, the school district is changing the way things are done to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Games will look different with players required to wear masks anytime they’re not on the field. Only the band, cheerleaders, and ROTC of each home team will be allowed at the game due to limited seating.

There will be socially-distant seating. Each student participating can put four people on a guest list, and those people will sit on x’s placed across the bleachers.

Tickets, concessions, parking, and everything else will be paid for digitally.

“We obviously want to be able to to open it up to everybody. We enjoy everyone coming to the games, but we have to make some modifications due to this pandemic that we’re all dealing with,” said Robinson.

Those unable to attend can watch the games on the NFHS network.

To watch a game, visit nfhsnetwork.com/watch-events. You can search for your team by choosing a date, the sport, the gender, the level and state.

More information about the games are available on the school district’s website.