RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Thursday night, Apex Friendship and Millbrook High Schools played game one of their football seasons.

While both teams moved up the game to avoid the threat of severe weather Friday, Stefanie McClary couldn’t avoid the excitement.

“We are stoked to play this year,” she said. “Last year we had a great season but kind of bummed to lose that last one.”

She was in the stands with her family to watch her son Chase, No. 2 in the navy-blue Millbrook jersey, suit up.

“I mean, I like to soak in every minute because you don’t know whether COVID restrictions, injuries, whether you are going to see your son play again. It was so frustrating the first couple of years of high school,” McClary said.

Ben Cornthwaite was also happy with the sense of normalcy when it comes to football.

“Professionally, I run a retirement community, so we are still in the thick of things. But being outdoors, it’s great to see the people and the smiling faces,” he said.

Cornthwaite’s son Cameron, No. 2 in the white Friendship jersey, was back on the field for the first time in more than one year.

“He broke his leg. Tibula, fibula injury playing football game four of last season,” Cornthwaite said. “So, this is his first game back. He’s ready to rock and we are excited. Mom and dad need a little anti-anxiety on the sideline here.”

Despite what the scoreboard read or how the season unfolds, both McClary and Cornthwaite said they are optimistic moving forward.

“Football is much bigger than just the sport. There is so much family that goes into it,” Cornthwaite said.

As far as health and safety, Wake County Public Schools states on its website that it remains in contact with health officials when it comes to dealing with COVID-19.