Safety protocols in place, football team hopes to have a regular season

Ashley High School football players are focusing on safety protocols off the field so they can keep the ball in play on the field this season
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Football season is here and the Ashley High School football team is hoping to have a regular season this year.

Both players and coaches are focused on doing what’s required to take part this season.

“I was worried about it a month or two ago, if we were gonna get one in,” said Ashley High School senior Jaxon Jones.

That’s why coaches and players are focusing on safety protocols off the field to keep the ball moving on the field this season.

“You don’t want to see the experience for the kids to get bad again, but I think they’re learning some lessons,” said Ashley High School Head Football Coach Wilson Helms.

The team is required to wear masks anywhere indoors — including classrooms, locker rooms, and the weight room. As of now there is no outdoor mask requirement for the athletes during practices or games.

Many players said it’s important to them to focus on their safety off the field so they can have a regular season.

“It’s crucial because if someone sees us not wearing a mask, they blow the whistle on us and our whole season could be done just like that,” said Jones.

The threat of quarantine keeps them in line.

“Just so we don’t get COVID and have to shut down or nothing like that, just because everyone wants a season, everyone wants to play,” said Malakai Hill, junior at Ashley High School.

They’re doing more than just wearing masks — they’re frequently sanitizing the weight room, locker room and game equipment. Helms says that players’ shoulder pads are soaked and sanitized at least once a week.

“If they don’t do their part to try and knock it down then it can very easily turn into not a game, or for two weeks you don’t have a game and we ran into that this past season,” said Helms. “We don’t wanna have that happen to us if we can prevent it.”

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