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HADDONFIELD, N.J. – Indoor sports resumed in New Jersey on Saturday after coronavirus restrictions put seasons on hold for nearly a month in the Garden State.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced that he would let the pause on indoor sports expire as scheduled on Jan. 2. The pause, enacted on Dec. 5, included basketball, hockey, swimming, girls volleyball, wrestling and winter track.
The resumption of play comes with ground rules on capacity and travel. To quell the spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey is capping capacity at 10 people. This includes players, coaches and referees. Teams are also not allowed to travel out of state for competition.
Fearing they would lose their final high school season, seniors in New Jersey were excited to get back in the game.
“I was filled with joy because it’s my last year and I didn’t wanna go out like that,” Haddon Heights basketball player Isaiah Waters said. “I’m just glad we got a season, even though it’s not much, it’s still something.”
Head coach Mike Ricci had his team condition outside the gym during the layoff. Now he’s excited to get his players back together on the hardwood with a semblance of normalcy.
“Whether it’s a shortened or a long season it doesn’t matter to us as long as we can get in the gym and play,” Ricci said.
With capacity restrictions, it’s nearly impossible for parents to watch their children play from the stands. College scouts looking to bolster their rosters will also need to find another way to evaluate potential recruits.
Haddon Heights sophomore Reggie Diller says the school will livestream its games.
“This is a tough year for everybody, not just us,” Waters said. “The whole world is going through something we never witnessed before, but as long as we keep pushing and fighting through we’ll be alright.”
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