High School Football

Longer season under review – HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

South Carolina High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton wasn’t ready to make a decision Thursday on whether the high school football season would be extended.

“We have had preliminary conversations and discussions. We wanted to see and assess the damage before we made any decision. We didn’t want to make a hasty decision,” Singleton said Thursday afternoon. “We told our membership to focus on the safety of the kids and people in the community and leave this up to us.”

Many of the schools who were in session played games Wednesday and Thursday, including Midlands schools Lugoff-Elgin, Newberry, Fairfield Central, Mid-Carolina and North Central.

This isn’t the first time the SCHSL has had to deal with hurricane-related issues in the last few years. In 2015, the season was moved back because of the floods. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew forced the season to be pushed back two weeks with the state championships being held the same day as the Shrine Bowl.

That year, the games missed because of the hurricanes were played at end of the season.

“It guides you a little,” Singleton said of going through this before.

If the season was to be extended, it would need approval from the SCHSL executive committee.

More than half of schools across South Carolina had games postponed this week because of Hurricane Florence. Some tentatively had make-up dates for Monday but that is unlikely, especially if the state gets the rain expected and schools aren’t back in session.

Most Midlands coaches said they would likely lose the game if the season isn’t extended or they couldn’t squeeze in a game next week.

Richland 1 and 2, Lexington 1 and 2 and Lexington-Richland 5 were among the 18 districts that have been out of school since Tuesday

when Gov. Henry McMaster closed the schools. Ridge View High School is being used as a shelter.

If the season isn’t extended, the SCHSL championships at Williams-Brice Stadium still might be affected. South Carolina postponed its game with Marshall. If they rescheduled another game at home, options are Oct. 20 on the Gamecocks’ bye week or Dec. 1, the date of the Class 3A, 4A and 5A championships.

Singleton said he hasn’t spoken to USC officials yet, but if USC plays a home game Dec. 1, then they would have to adjust and play at another venue.

September 14, 2018 | State, The (Columbia, SC)

Author/Byline: 15 1236 127 1251BY LOU BEZJAK lbezjak@thestate.com | Page: 15 | Section: Sports

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