Lou Bezjak

State football championship games back on TV

Dutch Fork’s Ward Hacklen celebrates a touchdown catch during the 5A Lower State championship game, a win over Fort Dorchester.
Dutch Fork’s Ward Hacklen celebrates a touchdown catch during the 5A Lower State championship game, a win over Fort Dorchester. mwalsh@thestate.com

After a three-year absence, the South Carolina High School football state championships will return to televisions across the Palmetto State.

Saturday’s Class 3A, 4A and Class 5A games will be carried on Sinclair Broadcasting stations, including in the Midlands on WACH Fox 57 or 57.2. It’s the first time since 2013 when Time Warner Cable televised the state title games.

The Class 4A and 3A games will be on WACH Fox 57, while the Class 5A game between Dutch Fork and Boiling Springs will be on WACH Fox 57.2 or 1250 (Time Warner Cable).

Friday’s Class A and 2A championships at Benedict College will be online only at www.nfhsnetwork.com for a $9.99. All three games also will be streamed online on www.nfhsnetwork.com.

“Sinclair Broadcasting is very proud, to be airing the South Carolina state high school championships, for the first time in history,” WACH Fox general manager Greg Conner said. “Airing the state championships is a natural extension of our regular season coverage of high school football with Friday Night Rivals that currently airs in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville.

“It will be a special day for the participating teams in making memories of a lifetime.”

WACH Fox wrapped up its second year of Sonic Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week in the Midlands.

Sinclair stations carrying Saturday’s games include WWMB CW 21 (Florence/Myrtle Beach), WCIV My TV (Charleston), WYWA (Spartanburg/Greenville) and Fox 28 and Comet 28.2 (Hilton Head/Savannah). Fox 28 will carry Class 3A and 4A games with Comet 28.2 airing the Class 5A game.

Conner said an independent company will produce the games, with WACH Fox supervising. Starting next year, WACH Fox will produce the games.

The company also will broadcast the SCHSL state basketball championships at Colonial Life Arena on March 3-4.

WACH Fox Sports Director Corey Miller, a former Gamecock standout who played in the NFL for eight seasons, will handle play-by-play for the Class 3A and 5A games with former Gamecocks quarterback Syvelle Newton handling color commentary. Matt Dowell and Stacey Hough will be sideline reporters.

The Class 4A game will be done by Charleston’s Darren Goldwater (play-by-play), Dean Stephens (color commentary) and Brodie Hart (sideline reporting).

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