Spikeball brings one Raleigh street together amid COVID-19 pandemic

Mark Armstrong Image
Monday, September 7, 2020
Spikeball brings Willow Cry Lane in Raleigh together amid COVID-19 pandemic
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One sport in particular has brought a Raleigh street closer together than ever before during the pandemic.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Labor Day is traditionally a time for friends and family to get together for fun. COVID-19 has put a damper on that but not entirely.

On one street in Raleigh, the pandemic and one sport has brought the street closer together than ever before.

"I feel like we went back a generation or two in time. All the kids are in the neighborhood getting together hanging out." said Russ Young, whose front yard plays host.

If it's a sunny day then odds are they're playing spikeball on Willow Cry Lane. Bennett Zajkowski, 10, is usually in the middle of the action.

"I tried it out and I thought it was really fun. 30 minutes a day, or 45, it really depends," said Zajkowski.

One look at Young's front yard tells the tale. Just like a well-worn center court at Wimbledon, you can tell where the action goes down.

"I'm surprised we made that big hole actually. I guess it just shows how much we've been running around." Aly Keil told ABC11.

The diminished curb appeal is worth it for Young.

"Yeah it's killing the grass, but we've never been much of a grass family anyway. We love it because there's no refs here, no coaches, no uniforms. They've had to creatively problem solve and get along together.

What started as a birthday present for one kid became fun for all. Boys and girls from up and down the street, elementary to high school age dueling it out. Fun yes, but fiery too.

"It starts off fun and then it gets intense and we've had many arguments. Yeah, we're just very competitive people, so we can get mad sometimes," said Kaylee Keil.

For the parents, it's an excuse to safely gather together outside and strengthen their bonds of friendship.

"We now have an excuse to hang out. We're here parenting right now Mark, I know you can't tell this. This is my kind of parenting, kind of a laissez-faire parenting style."