After two weeks of quiet, the Swansboro High School athletic facilities came back to life this week.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association summer dead period ended Sunday night, capping two straight weeks of inactivity for school athletics. This year marked a rare consecutive two-week dead period instead of the typical format of two weeks sandwiched around a live period.

“It was actually really nice,” Athletic Director Brett McFarland said. “It’s difficult for those fall sports coaches to get much done when the live week is in between two dead periods.”

From July 4 through 17, athletes and coaches were unable to access their equipment and facilities. Now that the dead period has been lifted, teams can get back to work. The official first day of fall sports practice is Aug. 1.

“I know our football numbers were really strong before the dead period, even though they were meeting at 6 a.m., so I expect they got back to that (on Monday),” McFarland said.

A few teams were hard at work before the dead period ever started, attending camps, holding workouts and competing in scrimmages. Earlier this month, the football team attended a 7-on-7 camp at East Carolina University and McFarland’s boys basketball team won a championship at the East Coast Invitational tournament.

“The soccer teams have been playing summer league games on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” McFarland said. “Volleyball is going, cross country is doing their own thing and tennis has been doing workouts. Girls basketball, actually has a scrimmage on Thursday, too.”

Summer activities give the programs an opportunity to engage student-athletes beyond the typical school months.

“It’s a great way to keep them involved and active,” McFarland said. “For a lot of the kids, athletics is their outlet. None of the summer workouts are mandatory, but it’s a great way for teammates to bond and build on their social and emotional skills.”

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