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Sunday May 16th, 2021 7:57PM

Hall County opening up stadiums to full capacity

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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GAINESVILLE — Hall County sports teams can finally have a true home-field advantage. And just in time as several Hall County teams will be playing host to some huge matchups in the state playoffs beginning on Tuesday.

The Hall County School District released a statement on Friday saying it will expand its outdoor venue capacity from 75 percent to 100 percent, effective on Monday, May 3.

In the statement, the District cited "recent guidance from the CDC, and taking into consideration that COVID-19 numbers continue to improve both locally and district-wide," as for them making the changes.

Johnson boys soccer coach Frank Zamora, whose Knights will play host to No. 1 Starr's Mill on Wednesday in a huge Class 4A quarterfinals showdown, said it couldn't come at a better time.

"We've all been waiting on this to happen. That would be huge for us, and any other Hall County team at home, to have a packed stadium and give the players a real home-field advantage for a change," Zamora said. "I'm hoping we're going to have a big crowd for this one. We will need everything, and everyone, we can get."

But the District also stated, "guests/spectators must still have a mask and/or face covering in order to attend outdoor events; however, masks may be removed when maintaining a social distance of 6 feet is possible. Family units may sit together without face coverings when socially distanced from others."

“Because of the hard work, personal responsibility, and sacrifice of so many individuals, both in the district and in the community, we are in a position today to increase capacity for outdoor events,” Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield said. “As we have done for the past 15 months, we will continue to watch the numbers closely and consult with local health officials when deciding appropriate mitigation measures. We have made great progress, and we hope this trend continues.”

The East Hall boys soccer team also will be playing host to LaGrange next week in a monster Class 3A quarterfinals battle at East Hall Stadium.

North Hall baseball also will be playing host to a big series beginning on Tuesday at Cottrell Field against Hart County.

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