Herriman Hosts Nation’s First High School Football Game

Aug 13, 2020, 11:33 PM | Updated: 11:51 pm

HERRIMAN, Utah – The Herriman High Mustangs hosted the nation’s first high school football game Thursday, in an event that drew hundreds of masked fans eager to cheer on a team for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“I don’t even know what to expect,” said Kathy Destjeor, who has a senior on the Mustangs.

“It’s really important. I mean these kids have been playing together since they were 8,” she said.

“I’m excited football’s back. I’m excited my brother’s playing,” said recent high school graduate Jakob Barker. “It’s crazy. Usually this whole place is filled up but it’s pretty empty right now.”

Mustang Stadium can hold up to 4,000, but cheerleaders had to work with 25% capacity — just 700 fans for the home team and 200 for the visiting Davis High Darts were allowed into Thursday’s game.

“We’re cheerleaders, so we try to make the best out of it,” said Jenny Turner, assistant cheer coach at Herriman High School. “With 25% crowd, it sure is a difference. It’s much quieter right now. But we’re still going to cheer as loud as we can.”

“There’s like 12 of us in a family but we only get four tickets so I don’t know. We’re going to have to rotate throughout the season,” said Rosie Hansen, whose youngest brother is a junior on the team.

Players and family were excited about the start of the season. But many like Destjeor couldn’t help but wonder how long it will last.

“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that they get to play and get to have their senior year,” she said. “We’re going to still support the team no matter what.”

For Herriman High principal Todd Quarnberg, no matter how far from the ordinary the game may seem, watching his students and staff come together again at his school made it all worth it.

“I’m really happy we’re here,” Quarnberg said. “We got to play the game we love … and kids at home feel like they’re a part of something again.”

It was a close game but, in the end, the Mustangs fell to the Darts 24-20.

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Herriman Hosts Nation’s First High School Football Game