WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - For the first time since COVID-19 canceled high school sports back in March, teams from New Hanover County are back on the field Monday.
That included the New Hanover Wildcat football team, but it didn’t look much like football without helmets and pads.
Even before players were allowed on the field, they were screened.
All students' temperatures were checked and they were asked a variety of questions about how they felt and if they had been in contact with anyone with COVID-19. All these protocols have been put in place to keep players and coaches safe and ready to open the season on August 21.
“We’re going to go like we have a plan,” said New Hanover head coach Dylan Dimock. “The kids are aware that things can change pretty quickly, and we talked about that. We’re getting started we’re hoping and we’re optimistic and the kids are excited about it. If you don’t ever get started it’s never going to happen. Wow, this is radically different than anything we’ve done before as far as football goes. It’s a start. And it’s fun to have that start.”
The workouts are an opportunity to get the players back in shape, but many of the seniors have been working out on their own.
“I’ve been working on my feet to get my feet faster,” said Wildcat senior Razz Chandler. “Conditioning and running I do my push-ups every morning and night, every day.”
“In my backyard, I have a shed that has weights in it and I try to go out there three or four times a week,” added senior Bryson Boyettee. “I squat, bench, dead-lifts and curls, just keep my body strong.”
During the workout, coaches must wear a mask at all times and players must be social distancing; coaches preach the importance of staying safe away from football.
“One kid could shut everything down,” said Dimock. “If you’re going to be part of this team One of your duties is to social distance and be smart about how you go about your daily life as far as wearing masks, being disciplined and washing your hands--all of those things. We talked about just leaving the facility and how not getting all together.”
“It’s a big accountability thing,” said Boyettee. “We have to trust each other and know they’ll do the right thing while they’re gone. Stay safe and everything and stay away from people.”
Pender County sports teams also started summer workouts on Monday. Brunswick County teams are allowed to hit the fields on July 20.