‘Its Friday night lights again’: Delayed from the fall, spring football kicks off in Dane County


MADISON, Wis. – Friday marked the open of the 2020-2021 WIAA Spring Football season, roughly 7 months after the season would begin any other year.

Middleton welcomed Beloit Memorial in the opening week matchup, which saw 500 fans allowed in to watch in-person.

For me to be here in this moment with this opportunity right now is one word, everything,” said Middleton Athletic Director Jamie Sims. “This is everything we’ve been excited for. It’s everything we’ve been working on, which is to get all of our sports going.”

Each Middleton athlete was given the chance to register four guests for Friday’s game, with the away team getting two fans allowed per player. Sims says the pre-registration helps with contact tracing should it be necessary. 

We had to put a lot of protocols and systems in place to make sure when we got to this point where we’re at, that we were able to do it and do it right,” he said.

For more than 365 days, Middleton Cross Plains High School students were subject to virtual learning only. However in the last two weeks, a hybrid model was welcomed students back into the building. 

The energy the kids are bringing back into the building is just amazing. You can feel it. The building feels alive,” said Principal Peg Shoemaker.

Shoemaker says adding extracurricular activities is further energizing students. 

Just this night feels like we’re starting again. We’re able to start again. It’s a huge shot in the arm to all of us,” she said.