REISTERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — All eyes were on the football field Friday night at Franklin High School.

After a year of canceled events, the school’s homecoming football game was back, despite school officials canceling the homecoming dance for all public schools.

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Excitement was in the air Friday night.

“It’s great. It’s great,” said mom Stacey Joerger.

Players took to the field as fans packed the stands at Franklin High School for their homecoming football game, a night many waited over a year for.

“I can actually get out and have a high school experience,” said freshman Ijai Hammon.

Last year, the pandemic wiped out most of the football season.

“It feels good. It feels better. It feels like stuff is getting back together a little bit because last year we couldn’t do it,” said junior varsity football player K’yon Davis.

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This year, football is back, but the homecoming dance is not.

Earlier this month, Baltimore County schools officials announced all public school homecoming dances would be canceled, citing a rise in COVID-19 outbreaks in the county.

“I wanted to buy my dress and dance with my friends and everything, but it’s understandable,” Hammon said.

Just this week, Baltimore County officials reported 240 new COVID cases in schools. That’s up from 185 confirmed cases the week before and more than 1,200 students are now in quarantine.

But when it comes to making high school memories, some parents are calling on the school to reconsider.

“They could do a homecoming dance outside. It’s not too cold outside,” Joerger said. “They deserve it. I understand what’s going on. It’s a difficult time, but the kids deserve it and they need it.”

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While there will be no dance this year for Franklin High School, there still will be a homecoming parade Saturday that begins at 9 a.m. at Cherry Hill Road and Shaftsbury Court.

Kelsey Kushner