MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — High school football games in West Virginia this fall have become hot tickets. Due to state COVID protocols, only immediate family members are able to attend games as of now.
Of course, that rule only applies inside the actual stadiums. Former Richwood High School football players Ethan Spencer and Bailey Alderman found another way to watch their Lumberjacks in action Friday night in their home game against Sherman.
“We put the tree stand together before we even found the tree. So we had to go find a tree afterwards,” Spencer said.
“We thought it was going to be easy. But the tree we put it in wasn’t the best tree to do it. It was basically the only choice we had. We made it work.”
The photo, circulating heavily on social media throughout West Virginia, shows Spencer and Alderman perched just outside the stadium fence in a tree very close to the field.
“It was the best seat in the house. I wish we had done it earlier.”
Richwood football fan Ethan Spencer talks to @TonyCaridi, @BradHowe07 and @HunterWvu88bgn about the unique way he watched the Lumberjacks play on Friday. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/2QPT2UDOMn
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 14, 2020
Around West Virginia, fans have needed to be creative to watch football games due to the restrictions in place. Pickup trucks with sofas, viewing via binoculars from atop hillsides are just a couple of ways to take in the action from outside the stadium property. Alderman crafted the idea just before Friday’s game.
“It was actually my buddies’ idea,” Spencer said. “He is all the time getting me into stupid stuff like that. I don’t know why I always do it. I got off work one day and he called me and said, ‘Hey man, you want to go buy a tree stand and put it outside the fence and watch the game?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, sure’.
“We were sneaking around trying to do it at first because we thought they weren’t going to let us. But then we asked and they said we could do it. So we went ahead and did it.”
Spencer said the tree stand is still up and they will use it for Richwood’s four remaining home games, starting with the Pocahontas County game on September 25.
“We are basically Facebook popular. I don’t really get on Facebook that much but I heard that.”
With the attendance restrictions in place indefinitely, Alderman had another idea, one that could be profitable.
“He just called me a little bit ago and he said we should start a business doing this.”