APEX, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s a big part of the high school experience — being able to cheer on your favorite student athlete at sporting events.
Starting this week, it’s a reality again in Wake County Public Schools System. The change took effect Monday.
Loud cheering is synonymous with a good play or points being scored. It’s been long taken for granted as part of the sports experience.
“It was really special because with all that’s going on with COVID. It’s just nice to see your parents up in the stands and like cheering you on,” said Grace Teborek, an Apex High School freshman.
Teborek is on the junior varsity girls volleyball team. They played Apex Friendship Tuesday evening.
“It’s nice to hear more noise and like actual people that aren’t on your team cheering you on,” she said.
The school district is allowing only a limited number of immediate family members or participating athletes from the home team to attend a game. That meant changes for Teborek.
“It’s definitely strange, because like my grandparents would come but they’re not coming now, because it’s only people that live in your house,” she explained.
Wake County Schools is live streaming video of the competitions.
But that wasn’t enough for some parents. More than a 1,000 of them signed onto a petition, asking to attend sporting events.
“The kids get to feel the energy and the atmosphere of someone they love and know that’s cheering for them,” parent DeNine McKinnon said.
“I’m really happy they let us come in,” said Jeff Vloach, who is also a parent.
Parents like everyone else who comes into the school building has their temperature taken. They’re also asked a series of questions about possible exposure to COVID-19.
“We’ve sent a lot of information out to them about expectations for today. And it’s a really good atmosphere to have people here and happy to some normalcy,” said Scott Ferguson, athletic director at Apex High School.