WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–The high school soccer season is in full swing for teams in the Cape Fear. Public Schools are five days away from opening up their 2021 season on January 25th.
The coaches say after months of uncertainty surrounding the season they are just glad to be back out on the field and finally getting closer to playing other teams.
“It’s been six months of sporadic practice, rescheduling, and trying to figure out rules,” says New Hanover boys soccer coach TJ Rennie. “Getting on the field last night for the scrimmage was great, I mean that’s what we we want, the kids to play games.”
It will be anything but a normal year on the pitch, with schools dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Each school will play just 14 games in the regular season, which is down from 22 in years past. The players know they will have to gel fast and be ready for just about anything.
“We’ve been talking with the team a lot that it’s just about getting better quick everyday,” says New Hanover senior Selden Baldwin. “Because really you never know when the last game could be. A couple teams have had some exposure throughout the county and had to shut down for 10 days. So, I mean I’m telling everybody we just got to be safe, got to be smart cause if one person screws up it could mess up our whole season.”
The Wildcats seem more than up for the challenges. Their coaches say what athletics does for these kids means more than you know.
“It means everything honestly especially with some of them not being at school at all,” Rennie says. “To get out here and hangout for a couple of hours you know that’s always kind of therapy for me. So, hopefully for them it serves the same purpose.”
The New Hanover senior says they are thankful to be having a season at all and they’re ready to go out with a bang.
“Personally, I could not be more excited,” Baldwin says. “I mean it’s been a long time coming we had three years in the past of let downs in the playoffs. We’ve had some good runs the last two years, but I mean I’m super ready to get after it. We are hoping to win a ship this year.”