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Hurricane already impacting SC high school football schedule. Here’s what’s next

Watch: SCHSL commisioner Jerome Singleton discusses extending high school football season

South Carolina High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton talks about extending high school football season one week. Move was approved Sept. 18, 2018.
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South Carolina High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton talks about extending high school football season one week. Move was approved Sept. 18, 2018.

The South Carolina High School League executive committee held a conference call Wednesday to discuss the implications to the high school football schedule from the possible impacts of Hurricane Dorian.

Nothing was decided as far as extending the football but the committee voted unanimously voted to let the SCHSL decide if any changes should be made to athletic schedules.

Forecast projections have Hurricane Dorian to move northward near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday. S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuations for eight coastal counties Sunday. Schools in Berkeley, Beaufort, Horry, Jasper, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester and Georgetown counties have been canceled until further notice, and teams aren’t allowed to practice during that time.

Several coastal schools have already postponed or canceled their Friday games and likely won’t be made up because they aren’t region games.

“We are trying to get on the front end. We are going to meet and my suggestion is, ‘Don’t jump the gun,’ ” SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton told The State on Tuesday. “A lot of it will be the flooding and which schools are impacted. We are going to have a roundtable discussion and give some guidance so we will have it moving forward.”

In the past, SCHSL has waited until after the storms to discuss possible scenarios for the schedule.

Singleton said it would be doubtful that coastal-area schools would be able to play football games this week, especially if they aren’t in school and not practicing. Depending on damage, teams could play early next week and then play their scheduled game the following Friday or Saturday. Three days are required between high school football games in South Carolina.

“I think you need practice time prior to playing then I yield to their (coaches) knowledge. They know their players,” Singleton said.

Singleton said schools not affected by the storm would have the go-ahead to play football games this weekend.

Other fall sports such as volleyball, tennis and golf will likely make up their contests missed because multiple games can played in a week in those sports.

This is the fourth time in the last five years that high school sports in South Carolina has been affected by severe weather. Last year, Hurricane Florence wiped out a week of the season and an extra week was added to the year. Many schools, however, opted not to make up games that didn’t have region implications to them.

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.

Note: Another motion passed in the meeting was formation of a competitive balance subcommittee to discuss SCHSL Constitution Article V Section 1A and B and take a closer look at the issues surrounding classification of private and charter schools. Committee will meet several times and make a recommendation to executive committee in November. The competitive balance subcommittee will be made up 10-12 members, likely five-six affiliated with public schools and five-six from private/charter schools.

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