Hoggard volleyball team ready for new mask regulations

Mask mandate for Volleyball and other indoor teams begins Monday

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - High school sports at public schools will return on Monday across North Carolina, but things will look different for indoor sports.

Players, coaches, and staff must wear masks, even during the games to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Hoggard Viking volleyball team isn’t taking any chances. Coach Ron Strickland and his players have already worn facemasks during practices ahead of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s mandate.

“I’ve had practices where we practiced with masks,” said Strickland. “It’s difficult, it is truly difficult. If it’s a choice of masks or no season...that’s not a choice. We will wear masks.”

“It’s definitely difficult at first but I think it’s something that we can all get used to,” added senior Ayla Johnson.

Being ahead of the game has also given the Lady Viking players the chance to get used to the change and find masks that don’t hinder their performance.

“I told them to start looking for a mask that they can breathe in,” said Strickland. “If it’s one of the disposable ones bring two or three. Because the straps on those break all the time. Don’t get something super heavy that you can’t breathe through. The reality is that you have to be able to function and if you have to wear a mask you have to combine those two.”

Johnson says that wearing a mask might not be ideal, but it beats the alternative of not being able to play at all.

“This season means a lot to us,” said Johnson. “We’ve grown up all playing together and we really want states. I think everyone’s going to work hard so we can get there.”

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