Sports to resume for public high schools this week

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After a nearly eight month layoff, sports will return to state public high schools this week.

On Wednesday, high schools in the Cape Fear have their official day of practice for cross country and volleyball.

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It will be the first practices since mid-March.

Hoggard High School Athletic Director Brad Lewis says they’re excited about student-athletes are back competing.

“It’s been quite a journey,” he said. “We’re excited about it to finally to get a start of a season with cross-country and volleyball going on Wednesday. It’s just been kind of step by step and making sure we were doing everything right for the kids and for the coaches.”

Things will have a different look this year both inside the gyms and out on the cross-country courses. The Mideastern Conference approved spectators for events, but that number will be very limited.

“We have to go with what the numbers are and the numbers are 25 people inside,”says Ashley High School Athletic Director Kelly Lewis. “So, we are going to only sell to the home team and no visitors will be allowed. No visiting spectators will be allowed to come in to the contest.”

School officials across the Cape Fear know there will of course be challenges this year, which includes the possibility of dealing with coronavirus cases.

“We may have someone test positive and we will have to deal with that,”says Laney High School Athletic Director Fred Lynch. “With tracing and the contact it could be a situation like we’ve seen in some the colleges and pros where you may have to miss a week or two weeks out of your schedule. So, you know knock on wood that it won’t happen, but we know that it’s a possibility. ”

They say they are committed though to doing whatever it takes to make this year work, for not only the athletes but the coaches as well.

“We have to do what’s best for the student-athletes and coaches,”says Lewis. “Like you said it’s been almost eight months since we’ve had high school athletics in the state much less New Hanover County.”

Competition play will not official get underway until Nov. 16.