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Will C. Wood defensive end, Xavier Copeland fights through a block during practice Wednesday at Wildcat Stadium. The Wildcats open up the season at home on March 19 against league rival, Vanden High School. Copeland is one of the top returners for the 'Cats. (Joel Rosenbaum -- The Reporter)

Vacaville, Vanden, Wood football ready to kick off

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When the California Department of Public Health declared on February 19 that high school football could resume in counties with 14 or fewer COVID cases per 100,000 people, one could almost hear a collective whoop getting ready to emanate from the mouths of local high school football players.

When the Solano County COVID-19 rate, which had been at 18.4 cases per 100,000 that day, dipped to 12.4 by the following Tuesday, the football players in the Monticello Empire League let that whoop out full throttle in celebration and put on their cleats to get ready for official practice and for their first games on Friday, March 19.

This week they got another boost when Solano County, previously in the purple color-coded COVID tier, entered the red color-coded tier. That means that, pending decisions by the local school districts (which have generally followed county guidelines), football players will no longer have to undergo weekly COVID testing.

The coaches and players at Vacaville, Will C. Wood and Vanden High Schools may be competitors. But they are unanimously thrilled to be playing football again.

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