MOPR: Cooper edict forces scheduling change


Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest executive order forced Josh Phillips and his Mount Olive Parks and Recreation team back to the drawing board late last week.

Cooper extended Phase 3 through Dec. 4 and said the state’s indoor mass gathering limit is lowered to 10 people. He based his decision on the state’s fluctuating COVID-19 numbers.

Phillips met with the town’s board of commissioners and pushed the youth basketball season back one month.

Opening-night workouts are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 7, but could change depending on Cooper’s next move.

“This is the plan moving forward,” Phillips said.

The revised opening-night workout schedule is:

  • Dec. 7 - Boys 4-5, Girls 8-15 at 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 8 - Boys 6-8 at 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 9 - Boys 9-11 at 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 10 - Boys 12-15 at 6 p.m.

Registration is ongoing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at town hall.

There will be four age groups for boys and three age groups for girls.

The fee is $35.

“This year, like most social activities, we have changed some things up for safety reasons [due to COVID-19],” Phillips said. “Each age group will have their own night of workouts instead of everyone being in the gym on the same night.”

According to Phillips, a maximum of two guardians will be allowed in the gym for opening-night workouts. Face masks are required and social distancing must be observed.

Standing is not permitted.

“We usually do opening-night workouts in one night and we think this is something that’s going to be even better, and something that we will want to do in the future because we’re spreading it out,” Phillips said.

“Opening-night workouts is not a trial. This is a time for kids to get out there and have some fun, go through drills and see people they haven’t seen in a while.”

Phillips remains unsure about the girls’ league and may reach out to see if other teams are formed that may be willing to play.

Practice starts Dec. 14 at venerable Carver Gymnasium on Breazeale Avenue. Regular-season play tips off Jan. 9, 2021. There is no admission charge.

In compliance with Cooper’s gathering restrictions, Phillips said it may be necessary to clear the gym after each contest to avoid over crowding. Fans must find seating in the bleachers.

“Our main thing is to just play some basketball and let the kids have fun,” Phillips said.


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