The end of the high school football season has been pushed back another week.
On Wednesday, the South Carolina High School League Executive League committee voted 10-2 to move the end of the regular season back to Nov. 11 for those schools affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Games missed last week will be moved to Nov. 4 and this week’s games missed will be played Nov. 11. Playoffs will begin Nov. 18 with state championships being held Dec. 16-17. The Class A and 2A title games will be at Benedict College with Classes 3A, 4A and 5A set for Williams-Brice Stadium.
"We had options that we could look at and they (committee) came away with the one the member schools are best served by," SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton said. "I was pleased with the process. The committee made sure the protection of the kids and their health was at the forefront. We don’t want to have kids playing multiple days in a week if possible.”
Extending the season was one of three options discussed by the 12-member committee in the nearly two-hour meeting. The other options were reducing the playoffs to four rounds or canceling one week of games for the affected schools.
But extending the season was the easiest to work out and fairest because of the number of teams which were affected. There were 29 games affected last week because of Hurricane Matthew and 31 this week.
Of the schools affected, 31 were from Class A, 10 in Class 2A, 14 in Class 3A and 4A and six in Class 5A.
The extension shouldn’t affect Midlands schools much because most of the area teams had their games postponed last week and they will be made up Nov. 4. But some of the unaffected teams that played last week are looking at a possibility of two or three weeks off before the playoffs.
The committee said unaffected teams can move games back from Week 10 to Week 11 or Week 12 to avoid a possible two- or three-week layoff as long as both teams agree to it and the SCHSL is able to get officials for the game.
A conflict in moving the postseason back another week will be competing with the North-South and Shrine Bowl all-star football games. The North-South will be held in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 10 on the same weekend as the upper and lower state semifinals.
The state championships will be held on the same weekend as the Shrine Bowl. Rosters for the Shrine Bowl have already been announced and North-South rosters are scheduled to be released Oct. 25.
“It creates a bigger list we go from,” said Irmo coach Reggie Kennedy, the head coach of the South team in North-South game.
The South Carolina Independent Schools Association will meet Tuesday to decide if it will extend the season a week to make up games missed from Hurricane Matthew.
In addition to the football, changes were made to other SCHSL fall sports. Last week, swimming state championships was moved back to Oct. 14-15 at USC.
Earlier this week, the SCHSL extended the tennis and volleyball seasons a week. Playoffs will begin Oct. 26-27. Because of a scheduling conflict, the site of the state volleyball championships will be moved from River Bluff to Dutch Fork High on Nov. 12.
The site of the Class 4A girls lower state golf championships on Oct. 17 has been moved to Hartsville Country Club. It was originally scheduled for Port Royal’s Barony Golf Course.
Panthers offering grants to schools affected by Hurricane Matthew
On Wednesday the Carolina Panthers announced its charities is providing $250,000 in grant funding to assist high school athletic programs in North and South Carolina that have been impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The grants are designed to assist in the replacement or repair of equipment, supplies or athletic infrastructure lost or damaged due to the hurricane.
Last year, the Carolina Panthers Charities provided $250,000 in funding to 19 South Carolina high schools affected by the catastrophic flooding.
Grant applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a deadline for consideration of Nov. 11. Forms can be downloaded at www.panthers.com/community .