Almost eight months to the day since a Polk County High School athletic team faced an opponent, competition returned to campus on Thursday.
True, the Wolverines’ volleyball scrimmage didn’t count in the record book. But given that it marked the first competition of any type since March 13, when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association shut down all sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, simply holding the event felt like a win for all involved.
Including a shortened warmup period, the varsity scrimmage lasted just an hour, with the junior varsity teams also battling for around an hour earlier in the evening. No fans were allowed in Polk County’s gym for the scrimmage.
The teams learned shortly before the scrimmage that the NCHSAA has mandated that players will be required to wear masks at all times during indoor sporting events. That requirement goes into effect on Monday.
Some players opted to wear masks at times during Thursday’s scrimmage. Some will wait until next week, when Polk County begins regular season play on Thursday at East Rutherford.
Masks, social distancing, quiet stands – the scrimmage had all the hallmarks of sporting events during the pandemic.
But, at least for all involved, there were sports to play.
And now it’s almost time for the games to once again begin.