Watch: SCHSL commisioner Jerome Singleton discusses extending high school football season
For the third time in the past four years, the high school football season in South Carolina will be pushed back.
On Tuesday, the South Carolina High School League executive committee voted 18-0 in favor of adding one week to the 2018 high school football season.
This means games that were missed last week because of Hurricane Florence will be made up Nov. 2.
Playoffs would start Nov. 9. The state championship games will be Dec. 7 for Class A and 2A at Benedict College and Dec. 8 for Class 3A, 4A and 5A at Williams-Brice Stadium.
“The devastation some of our communities have gone through is truly traumatic,” SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton said. “We are hoping this creates some sort of normalcy that it possibly can. The committee is adamant how much we extend the season of football, so we are at one week at this point. ... So we’ve got to figure out ways to be able to do that without coming back and adding another week at the end of it.”
More than 50 games were washed out last week because of Hurricane Florence, and there’s a chance 18 more will be missed this week because of the aftermath of the storm. Schools in Chesterfield, Darlington, Marlboro, Horry and Marion counties might be out the entire week and not be able to play. Of those 18 games, half are region contests for Class 2A and 3A schools.
That means some schools might have to make up two games. Singleton said the league will work with the schools, if needed, if they can’t make up both games.
While the league doesn’t want multiple games played in a week, that could happen as long as there is enough time between games.
“As we work our way through, I have lot of confidence that our member schools and regions that they will come up with a way to sort that out,” Singleton said. “We will be glad as a league staff to help figure that piece out. We’ve got to be careful how often we put those kids out there playing and with the injuries that could be sustained because of that.”
This isn’t the first time the SCHSL has had to deal with hurricane-related issues in the past 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.
Singleton said there will be discussions with the schools in next year’s spring meetings about possible way to work around these issues. One executive member Tuesday brought up that possibility of putting a bye week at the end of season before the playoffs to have an extra week already built in.
This year’s extension means the 3A, 4A and 5A championships will be played on the same day as the North-South all-star game in Myrtle Beach.
The Shrine Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 15 at Wofford College, but that might be a conflict with North Carolina schools possibly pushing back its season. Shrine Bowl public relations chair Joe Sessoms said officials will be in discussion with both high school leagues in the next few weeks before any decision regarding a date change is made to the game.
SCISA Athletics Director Michael Fanning said his league has no plans to make up games lost to Hurricane Florence. SCISA did the same thing in 2015 and 2016, and seedings for the playoffs will be based on regular-season records.
While football was extended a week, the other fall sports weren’t because they are able to play multiple contests a week in attempt to make up games missed because of Hurricane Florence.
Midlands Games to made up Nov. 2
McCormick at Eau Claire (At Keenan)
Blythewood at Dutch Fork
CA Johnson at Pelion (Nov. 1)
Calhoun County at Swansea
Carolina Pride at Keenan
Chapin at Spring Valley
Columbia at Fox Creek
Daniel at Ridge View
Dreher at Gilbert
Lexington at Batesburg-Leesville
Lower Richland at Airport
Richland Northeast at AC Flora
River Bluff at Irmo
South Aiken at Westwood
West Florence at Camden
Statewide games to be made up Nov. 2
Beaufort at Valdosta (Ga.) (To be played Sept. 28)
Blackville-Hilda at Denmark-Olar
Burke at Charleston M&S
CE Murray at Lake Marion
Cane Bay at Summerville (To be played Oct. 5)
Cheraw at Lamar
Creek Bridge at Aynor
Cross at Baptist Hill
Darlington at Crestwood
Edisto at Bamberg-Ehrhardt
Estill at Williston-Elko
Fort Dorchester at Berkeley (To be played Oct. 5)
Georgetown at St James
Goose Creek at Stall
Great Falls at Dixie
Hanahan at Garrett
Hartsville at Bluffton
Hilton Head Island at Ridgeland-Hardeeville
Hunter-Kinard-Tyler at Wagener-Salley
James Island at Ashley Ridge (Oct. 5)
Marion at Lake View
May River at Colleton County
Manning at Lake City
Military Magnet at Scotts Branch
North at Ridge Spring-Monetta
North Charleston at Waccamaw
North Myrtle Beach at Socastee
Oceanside at St Johns
Orangeburg-Wilkinson at Woodland
Rock Hill at York
Silver Bluff at Allendale-Fairfax
South Florence at Marlboro County
Sumter at Northwestern
Timberland at Bishop England
Wade Hampton (H) at Barnwell
Wando at West Ashley (To be played Oct. 5)
Whitmire at Branchville