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'We were all hands on our knees begging for an air break': High school athletes adjust to wearing masks during games

North Carolina high school athletes are required to wear masks during practices and games.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — For about a month, North Carolina High School athletes have been wearing masks at all times, including practices and games.

Girls' basketball players from Greensboro Day School explained how they have adjusted to masks.

“The first practice, we were all hands on our knees begging for an air break," said Carolina Wyrick. “It’s something we learned to adapt to.”

“Sucking in air, sucking in wind, breathing it in the mask at the same time, it was pretty difficult," said Je'Bria Fullwood.

The girls said it's almost second nature now. Caldwell's Boys' Head Coach Daniel Branon said his team is getting used to it too. 

“We, as a coaching staff, thought it was going to be a pretty big adjustment with kids breathing and having to sub in more," said Branon. "Our kids did a great job. They’re still pulling them down below their nose every once in a while, but I think they’re adjusting well for them to do that at their age shows a really huge sense of maturity.”

Branon said he tries to keep his players positive throughout the unique season.

“Every game we get is a gift, so let's make the most of it. Let’s play with a lot of energy and positivity, even if we have masks on this is what we need to do right now for safety and just have a chance to play.”

No matter which school you go to, boys' or girls' team if you love sport, you might be thinking like Wyrick.

“It’s not ideal, but I think playing basketball is the most important thing for us and so to be able to do that, we’re willing to make the sacrifices we need to," said Wyrick.

Caldwell Boys' play again Friday. Greensboro Day girls' next game is Saturday.