October 23 is a mandated furlough day for the teachers in Rock Hill School District Three and has caused the athletics directors and football coaches at the three in-town schools to consider moving their games to Thursday.
The teams have an option to play on Friday because coaches are paid a supplement not included in their teacher pay. What they can't do is teach that day and to be fair to the coaches, talks have taken place to move the games ahead a day.
Northwestern hosts York, Rock Hill travels to Lancaster and South Pointe has a road game at Blythewood.
Northwestern and York have agreed to play Thursday. Rock Hill and Lancaster appear close to making the same decision. But, due to a breast cancer awareness night planned at Blythewood, South Pointe will play on Friday as scheduled.
South Pointe football coach Bobby Carroll he felt it was fitting that the school district will shut down for a day to save money.
`Our coaching supplement was not furloughed, but I didn't want to bring in our coaches next Friday,'' he said. ``The people at Blythewood said they are having a breast cancer awareness night and that fans have been asked to wear pink to the game. And they said moving it to Thursday might cost them money.
`We tried to do it, but they want to play the game as originally scheduled. We'll work next Friday from probably noon to midnight. But that's what we do because we love it.''
Blythewood athletics director Vince Lowry said the school has planned the special night, where spectators will wear pink and pink ribbons will be handed out
"We’ve planned it and we are recognizing breast-cancer survivors at halftime,’’ Lowry said.
The decision to move the game was far less complicated for Northwestern and York. `Coach (Jimmy) Wallace and I started talking about the situation and decided we had to explore the opportunity of playing next Thursday,'' Northwestern athletics director Bill Warren said. “We felt it was only fair to our coaches and the people we depend on to sell and take tickets at the gate, many of whom are on our staff at Northwestern.’’
`Game-day preparation begins on Fridays between 1 and 2 p.m., so our coaches would have to be here by then. The preparation includes a pre-game meal, player-coaches meeting and getting the equipment packed up to take to the stadium.
`We notified the district of what we wanted to do and were told they were in full support of what we chose to do. We just didn't think it was fair to call in our coaches on a day they aren't getting paid to be here.''
Rock Hill coach Joe Montgomery said Thursday afternoon that no decision had been made, but he's been in talks with Lancaster AD Mark Strickland and football coach Bennie McMurray and believes there is a good chance the game will be moved.
Luanne Kokolis, District Three's associate superintendent, said when the schools notified her and Superintendent Lynn Moody, they were told to do what they had to do and that they had full support from the administration.
`Our schools have kept us informed along the way,'' Kokolis said. ``Their concern was that it's a furlough day and they were hoping the other teams would be considerate of that and change the games.
`I'm sure there is some concern that the gate for a Thursday night would not be as much as it is on Friday. We told our schools that we would work with them no matter what was decided. If it's Thursday, we support that. If it's Friday, we'll have to run with it.''
State Prep Sports Editor Steve Wiseman contributed to this article.
Reach Barry Byers at 329-4099 or firstname.lastname@example.org