LELAND, NC (WWAY)–It’s been over nine months since public high schools in the State of North Carolina last played sports, but on Tuesday night they returned to the Cape Fear.
High School volleyball teams took the court for their first games of the 2020 season. It was the first athletic competition for public schools since the middle of March, it’s something that’s been a long time coming for student-athletes.
“It was good because we went a really long time without playing,” says New Hanover High School senior Izzy Reeves. “So, it was fun to be back out on the court tonight.”
Seniors at both New Hanover and North Brunswick say they couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to put on their school colors at least one more time.
“I’m just very grateful because it is my senior year and volleyball is like my highlight of my entire high school,” says North Brunswick senior Melia Bordeaux. “Like if it weren’t for volleyball high school would be boring honestly. So, just I’m very grateful and thankful that we can still be out here and play.”
It is anything but a normal season for these athletes. It starts with temperature checks, social distancing, and masks required even while playing. They say while it hasn’t been easy, it’s more than worth it.
“I definitely understand the precautions that we’re taking and I’m really glad that they found a way to make it work for us,” said New Hanover High School senior McKenzie Botbol. “So, the little things like getting temperature checks and wellness checks in the long run make up for it because we get to play.”
The coaches say it has been a challenge to get everyone on the same page this season, but the sports has brought them a sense of normalcy.
“This is a nice little island of normalcy and even fun in the middle of everything that us and the kids are going through,” says North Brunswick volleyball coach Jeron Hogan.
The unknown of the season is still hanging over the conference, but they will never take for granted anytime they can spend on the court.
“Everyday that I get to play is great and just more time to have fun with my teammates and keep playing the sport I love,” said New Hanover High School senior Megan Tamisiea.
This is the first of many sports that will return to the Cape Fear over the next few months. Cross County teams across the area kicked off their 2020 season on Monday as well.