After several delays to the start of their season because of COVID-19, the Saucon Valley varsity football team will finally hit the gridiron Saturday, five weeks after their first game was scheduled to have been played.
At 5 p.m. Saturday, the Panthers will take on the Bangor Area Slaters (0-1) on their home turf inside Montford E. Illick Stadium in Lower Saucon Township. Saucon Source and Saucon Athletics will be there to livestream the game on the Saucon Athletics YouTube channel beginning around 4:50 p.m. Set a reminder for yourself in the preview below.
Obviously, it will not be a typical high school football game. State-imposed limits on the size of gatherings are once again in full effect, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit Thursday approved a stay in a court case involving a challenge to the health orders issued by Gov. Tom Wolf and state health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.
As a consequence of that, Saucon Valley Athletic Director Bob Frey said Friday that no spectators will be permitted entrance at Saturday’s game.
Frey had hoped to allow the parents of senior football players, band members and cheerleaders to attend, but said that would not be possible.
“In order to remain under the required 250 number (of people) at our facilities, Montford E. Illick Stadium will only be open to participants, staffing, essential personnel and limited members of the media helping to bring the game live for viewing and in print,” he said. “It is our hope that the governor may offer revised guidance for future games that may allow for spectator attendance.”
Frey encouraged all parents and fans to follow the game via the livestream, which can be viewed on any Internet-connected device with access to YouTube. Viewers at home may wish to cast the game to their smart TV in order to watch it on a larger screen.
The game will also be broadcast live on Penn Sports Radio, with the play-by-play commentary added to the livestream.
Saucon Valley fans should not attempt to watch the game from outside the stadium fence.
“Spectators who arrive at areas around our stadium for our game will be asked to leave and the game may be stopped (while) in progress due to noncompliance,” Frey wrote.
He acknowledged that the restrictions may be trying for families who want to watch the game from the stands, but stressed that the restrictions are ultimately for the benefit of the student-athletes who have been training hard for months in order to play today.
“Please respect the state order that we must work within, remain home and watch the game at your home so that we can keep our student-athletes on the field,” Frey said.
Saucon Source and Saucon Athletics would like to thank our livestream sponsors for this season’s football games: GOLD sponsor Saucon Valley Football Club, SILVER sponsor McDonald’s of Hellertown and BRONZE sponsor Superior Auto of Hellertown.