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For the first time in 20 years, Tallassee and Reeltown are set to renew their rivalry on the football field. The two teams are slated to meet Aug. 20 at J.E. ‘Hot’ O’Brien Stadium and even though the game is still on as scheduled, there will be some major changes due to the threat of COVID-19.

In a news release Friday afternoon, Tallassee City Schools announced the stadium will be at limited capacity for the game and all tickets will have to be purchased in advance without any being available at the gate. The release stated the event will be limited to approximately 68 percent capacity with each school getting 1,100 tickets allotted to their fans.

“We are excited to host this game for the first time in many years,” interim superintendent Brock Nolin said in the release. “While we certainly wish this landmark game was held under different circumstances, these are unprecedented times. The Tallassee City Schools Board of Education in consultation with the Tallassee City Schools Administration and Athletic Department have worked diligently to host a safe and comfortable event for both fan bases.”

Tallassee fans will enter through the gate closest to the field house near the north end zone.

“We want a big gate, that was one of the reasons to play the Reeltown-Tallassee game,” Tallassee coach Mike Battles said. “This was just right game and wrong time. The most important thing now is to just get out there and play the game.” 

Reeltown fans will enter the stadium at the south gate closest to the Tallassee City Schools Career Center located at 302 Gilmer Ave.

“Our kids have worked extremely hard and their kids have worked extremely hard to get here,” Reeltown coach Matt Johnson said. “We’re at the point where we want to do whatever we have to do to be within the guidelines to give these kids an opportunity to play this game.”

Johnson said he expected this game to be one of the highest attending games these kids have ever played in and that includes Reeltown’s appearance in the state championship game at Jordan-Hare Stadium last year.

“I hate it for the fans and I hate it for the kids so it’s going to be tough,” Johnson said. “But there’s no doubt these guys are still excited. With everything they have been through and everything these high school kids have been through this year, you could put no fans in the stadium and it would still be exciting to just play some football.”

Nolin also stated everyone in attendance will be asked to observe the statewide mask mandate.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association has asked that all limited capacity events offer preference of attendance to the families of student participants which includes football players, cheerleaders, band members, and dance team members. Coaches and administration from both schools met this week to discuss plans for that and both have decided to honor that request, making four tickets available to each member of the football program this week before opening the remainder tickets to the general public.

The tickets not sold will be returned to the general admission ticket sale.  

Starting Monday morning, Johnson said Reeltown will open up its general admission ticket allotment out of the high school office.

The ticket sales for Tallassee City Schools and fans will be as follows:  

Monday, Aug. 3 - Friday Aug. 7

Reserved season ticket holders that held tickets last season may purchase their tickets from the Tallassee High School office during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All ticket sales are final and non-refundable.

Monday, Aug. 10 - Friday, Aug. 14

All remaining season tickets will be up for sale.

Monday, Aug. 17

General admission and all remaining season tickets will be for sale between 4 pm- 5:30 pm at Tallassee High School.

Reeltown has received its 1,100 as of Tuesday afternoon. Ticket prices are $8. 

The ticket sales for Reeltown are as follows:

Now through Friday, tickets will be sold to all participating student-athletes. Each band member, cheerleader and football player will have the opportunity to purchase a maximum of four tickets during those dates. Band members will need to purchase their tickets from Mrs. Baker at the high school office; cheerleaders will purchase their tickets from Mrs. Coan; and football players will purchase their tickets from football coach Matt Johnson. 

Beginning on Aug. 10, the remainder of the tickets will be available for purchase by the general public at the high school office from Baker between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Tickets will be sold during these times only until all tickets have been sold.