With the threat of wintry weather, the South Carolina High School League is moving its state championship games scheduled for Saturday to Friday.
This means all SCHSL championship games will be played Friday with the Class A and 2A at Benedict College and Class 3A, 4A and 5A games at Williams-Brice Stadium.
“After monitoring the inclement weather predictions for Saturday, (SCHSL) has made the necessary schedule change for AAA-AAAA-AAAAA competitions. The expectation of extreme temperatures, rain, sleet, and possible ice presents major safety concerns for not only our students but also fans,” the SCHSL posted on its Twitter page.
Saturday’s weather in the Columbia area is forecast to be miserable, with a daytime high of 43, a low of 37 that night and an 80 percent chance of rain all day. The Upstate area, according to forecasts, will see snow and sleet starting Saturday evening. There’s no precipitation in the Columbia forecast Friday, with a high of 54 and temperatures in the 40s during the games that night.
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“We were going to enjoy the week when we had an extra day and go at a leisurely pace. But all of a sudden we lose a day of prep,” Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts said. “But that’s OK. We aren’t going to do much different. I’m glad we aren’t going to play in the pouring down rain. That didn’t make much sense.”
Weather has played a major role during the football season in South Carolina. In September, the SCHSL executive committee voted 18-0 to push back the season a week because of Hurricane Florence. Some teams didn’t play one or two of their games scheduled.
The state championships were originally scheduled for Nov. 31 and Dec. 1 before they were moved.
“It has kind of gone this way this way this season. We had an extra day to prepare but now it becomes a normal week,” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said.
A change in schedule is nothing new for the Seahawks, who missed two games this year, and Wilson said THEY were out of commission for about 3 1/2 weeks and not allowed any official practices.
Myrtle Beach was planning to come on Friday and stay overnight. Now, Wilson said the team will leave Thursday morning around 10:30 a.m., stop and eat and have a walk-through at South Carolina and spend the night in Columbia.
State Championship Schedule
At Benedict College
Green Sea Floyds vs. Lamar, 5 p.m.
Abbeville vs. Barnwell, 8 p.m.
At Williams-Brice Stadium
Myrtle Beach vs. Greer, 1 p.m.
Dillon vs. Chester, 4 p.m.
Dutch Fork vs. TL Hanna, 7:30 p.m.
Friday’s games will be streamed on www.nfhsnetwork.com (subscription required).
The Class 3A, 4A and 5A games will be will be streamed on www.nfhsnetwork.com and carried locally on WACH Fox 57.2 (TWC 1250) and across the state on WCIV 36.1 (MyTV Charleston) in Charleston, Asheville/Greenville on WMYA MyTV 40 and in Florence/Myrtle Beach on WWMB CW21.