WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Anyone walking into the gym at Wilmington Christian Academy must wear a mask.
The North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association has made it mandatory that all players and coaches wear masks during practices and games.
That’s not easy for Patriots senior basketball player Kyra Rickard, who suffers from sports induced asthma.
“It is a bit more difficult to breathe, but I think it’s a lot about keeping other people safe,” said Rickard. “And if it keeps other people safe, I’m willing to wear a mask.”
Head coach Thomas Davis has noticed his players get winded quicker while wearing the masks which has forced him to make adjustments.
“I’ve had to change practice so it’s more breaks, it’s more water, it’s more time where they can actually stick their nose out for a second and get some fresh air as opposed to breathing that recycled air,” said Davis.
Patriots Athletic Director and boys head coach Chris Station gave his team options on what kind of masks they wanted to wear.
But if they want to play, there is no option...a mask is required.
“It’s very important,” said WCA senior Greg Bowden. “That’s why I’ve kind of rolled with the punches because I really want to play. So, whatever I have to do to play, I’ll wear it. I might not like it but, at the end of the day, as long as I’m playing, I’m fine.”
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association hasn’t decided yet whether public school teams will be required to wear masks while playing games in the upcoming season.