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Social distancing placards and roped off seats can be seen in the stands as LSU readied Tiger Stadium for the Tigers' first football game amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

High school football is back this weekend, another sign that we are reclaiming the joys of life in Louisiana.

In the spring, it seemed like athletes and fans might be sidelined until a vaccine could be deployed, maybe not until 2021.

But athletes and teams got their bearings and found safe ways to resume play. It wasn’t always easy.

Major League Baseball was the first to come back, beginning a shortened season on July 23.

Soon there were positive COVID-19 tests among ballplayers, and naysayers suggested the whole idea had been a mistake. But the teams sorted things out.

One of the early complications was an outbreak among the St. Louis Cardinals, which sidelined the team for days. By mid-August, the Cardinals had played only five games, while many of the other major league teams had played 20. But they wound up completing 58 games and are in the playoffs.

Other sports followed.

The Southeastern Conference started its season last weekend, and other college teams are playing as well. The NFL season is three weeks old, and the league hit its first bump: Postponing a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans.

As we resume high school football, we should expect complications. The coronavirus isn’t going away just because we love football, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up our Friday night traditions.

Teams may be impacted, games may be canceled, fans may be restricted. But competition enriches the lives of high school athletes and their families and their communities, and it is better for them to try and play than lose out on a valuable life experience.