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The game got canceled, but it didn’t stop Lindsay High School football from taking the field Friday night. 

On Thursday, Lindsay learned that their season opener against Farmersville would be canceled, and not rescheduled, due to COVID-19 related safety protocols on the Aztecs’ side. Rather than cancel all their plans for their long-awaited return to the field, the Cardinals held a Red vs. White intrasquad scrimmage for fans at Frank Skadan Stadium.

“We’ve been riding the same rollercoaster all year long with start and stop, start and stop. So we’re sort of used to it by now, to tell you the truth,” LHS head coach Casey Higginbotham said. “It was a little sad because you’re ready for the game and everything but (we) know it’s just one game. We’re still going forward and everything. When I talked to the kids about it, they were bummed off the start, then when I told them what we’re going to do tonight, with the red-white scrimmage, they just snapped in. They were ready to go again.”

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Lindsay’s season-opener is Friday vs. Farmersville

When Lindsay High School football takes the field Friday evening, it will be the first time in 483 days that the Cardinals suit up and play a game.

The COVID-19 pandemic nearly destroyed Lindsay’s chances to have a season. But with guidance from the state and county health officials and backing from the administration, the Cardinals are ready to go. 

“We’ve been putting in work for the go-ahead to start the season. We’re ready,” said junior receiver and cornerback Diego Salas.

On the schedule for Lindsay is Farmersville this Friday, Woodlake on March 26, and Corcoran on April 1. Friday’s game against Farmersville will be both team’s first game of the season and the Cardinals’ Senior Night. The Cardinals beat the winless Aztecs 64-6 last season.

Offseason summer workouts started this week for Lindsay High School football but some of the directions coaches gave Wednesday morning sounded a little different.

“Five yards apart,” LHS offensive coordinator, Marcus Alonzo, called out to his group of players. “Make sure you’re staying in your cone.”

Like many teams across the state, the Cardinals have started their summer workouts by following the CIF’s Return to Physical Activity/Training and their district’s own guidelines.

By doing so, Lindsay keeps groups to 10 players or less and uses small cones to mark where everyone can stand. Players also keep their water bottles spread out around their group workouts so they can remain socially-distanced during their water breaks.

LHS head coach Casey Higginbotham said he, the coaches and the players all had Zoom meetings so they’d understand the new rules and what was expected of them. So far, everything is going well.

Former LHS grad in as Cardinals’ new varsity head coach

A familiar face is taking over the reins of Lindsay High School’s football program.

Casey Higginbotham is the Cardinals’ new varsity head football coach after spending the last four years as the program’s junior varsity coach, as well as a varsity position coach for the past five.

“To me it’s a dream job,” said Higginbotham. “I get to coach football for my alma mater, give back to the community that raised me, and help the players (and) youth reach their potential.”

Higginbotham graduated from Lindsay in 1995 and played for both the Cardinals and the College of the Sequoias. After a year with the Giants, he started his coaching career as an assistant with Tulare Western then another year with Lindsay before becoming a police officer for the next 17 years. He is now also a teacher in the public safety and mock trial pathways for Lindsay.