SADLER, TX-The Centers for Disease Control said half of the 66 people who've died of West Nile nationwide are from Texas. With high school football kicking off this Friday, a local school district is taking extra precautions to protect players and fans from mosquitoes.
Kick-off starts at around dusk, which is one of the times when mosquitoes are most active. A school official who tells us what they are planning to do to keep players bug free and fans in the bleachers.
John Moczygemba is looking forward to seeing his grandson play for S&S this year.
"We're excited for him. This is his first year playing as a freshman and we're excited to get involved and he's grown a lot last year," he said.
He said not even the threat of West Nile will keep him out of the stands to support his grandson.
"Not really, I'll just be taking precautions. It's not gonna scare me off from seeing a football game or see my grandson play," he said.
Another parent, Kristie Guy, felt the same way.
"It's something to think about and keep on your mind. I try not to worry about it and you know, we just take precautions," she said.
"We know it's all around us so it's something that we're starting to become more and more concerned about each growing day. Because everyday you read the newspaper and there's another case it seems like."
S&S High School Principal Roger Reed said they are taking extra steps to protect their athletes from getting West Nile. Since kickoff happens around dusk, one of the times when mosquitoes are most active, the district will provide mosquito repellent for players before and during the games.
And they're not just protecting players.
"What we're going to do is we're gonna make insect repellent available for fans who are coming into the game. They're more than welcome to it and we encourage people to use it," he said.
"Yeah I think that's good, if the parents are okay with it. It's an option we have and it helps us be safer," said Guy.
But Reed said even if they encourage the use of insect repellent outside during football games, it's not allowed inside school buildings.
"We're not gonna allow insect repellent to be brought into the building and be sprayed indoors because when we don't know if that might trigger an allergic reaction to another student. so we want to make that strictly outdoor usage," he said.
He recommends parents to apply insect repellent to their children before they head to school. Reed said they will have mosquito repellent available at the gate for fans to use at home games.
Their first home game is Friday against Trenton.