High school football returns to Fulton County Schools on Sept. 17 when Milton hosts Johns Creek under the district’s Return to Play Plan.

Almost 4,400 students have been practicing other sports and marching band since FCS restarted them on June 15. Fifteen percent of FCS students participate in fall sports or marching band, Steve Craft, director of athletics for the schools system, told the Fulton Board of Education at its Sept. 8 meeting.

Riverwood International Charter School hosts North Springs Charter High School on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at 5900 Heards Drive in Sandy Springs as the remaining FCS football teams start the season.

Capacity will be limited to 30% for football games, Craft said. Everyone entering the stadium will answer health screening questions and have their temperatures taken. Masks must be worn and social distancing will be enforced.

Ticket sales for all sports will be online at https://gofan.co/search.

Other protocols include marching bands setting up in one of the two end zones. Bands will not travel, Craft said. Cheerleaders will stay on the track and socially distance. Concession stands will be open, but only prepackaged food will be sold.

While football starts on Sept. 17, other fall sports have begun. Craft said one volleyball match was allowed for each team against another Fulton County school the week of Sept. 7. Riverwood High plays Milton High on Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Milton. North Springs Charter High hosts the Chattahoochee High Cougars on Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. at 7447 Roswell Road NE in Sandy Springs.

Protocols limit attendance for volleyball matches to 25%of capacity. The same screenings, mask requirements and social distancing will be followed.

Softball teams were allowed a doubleheader against another Fulton County school, with the season beginning Sept. 14. Spectators are limited to 150. North Springs hosts the Roswell Hornets on Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.

“Spectators to softball games are asked to bring their own tailgating chairs and to spread out,” Craft said.

Cross country does not sell tickets, but spectators will be required to spread out and not congregate at finish lines.

Craft said Area Superintendent Tim Corrigan is working with assistant principals on creating protocols for school clubs, including academic teams.

Craft said he has seen coaches and students taking great care with health safety measures.

“We must remain diligent about what is right so we can have full seasons,” Craft said.

FCS school board member Kimberly Dove said it has been tough on the more than 4,000 students practicing for sports and band.

“But I will have to say it is hot in Georgia,” she said.

So she advised fans to make sure they are cooled off in their cars’ air conditioning before getting their temperature checked to attend games just because of the heat.

School board member Katha Stuart asked if social distancing in the stands meant individuals would have to socially distance.

Craft confirmed that each school will have screeners serving as ushers to make this work.

“You show up and you are a family of four you will definitely be able to sit together,” he said.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.