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SCHSL extends high school football season one week

September 19, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The executive committee of the South Carolina High School League extended the 2018 football season by one week, moving last week’s postponed games to Nov. 1 or 2.

This is a response to Hurricane Florence’s disruption last week.

“That’s what we expected,” said Wilson football coach Derek Howard, whose Tigers had a bye last week. “I think it’s the best move to make sure all schools are considered and given the opportunity to play all their games – while at the same time, looking out for those teams still dealing with the effects from the current storm.”

South Florence football coach David Prince agreed.

“I think it’s probably the best decision they could have made possibly for everybody, statewide,” Prince said. “There were some conferences that had region games lined up last week, because it’s an eight-team region. It makes sense to do it this way.”

South Florence was scheduled to play Marlboro County last week. Now, the Bruins are scheduled to visit the Bulldogs the week after playing what would have been its regular-season finale against rival West Florence.

“The only problem it presents to me is if you’re a playoff team and you get to Week 11, do you really want to play that game if it’s a nonconference game?” Prince said.

“And if you’re not in the playoffs, and you’ve already played your rival in Week 10 and the season’s over, how do you get your kids motivated to play the next game? But overall, this is the best decision they could have made.”

Out of 16 Pee Dee football games scheduled last week, one was played – only because it was moved up to Wednesday (Chesterfield’s 52-27 loss against Buford).

Hannah-Pamplico originally was scheduled to try to make up last week’s game against Johnsonville on Monday – therefore leaving both teams having to play two games during a span of five days.

But that Monday date was nixed because of weather.

This also pushes the state-championship dates back: Dec. 7 for Classes A and 2A at Benedict College’s Charlie W. Johnson Stadium and Dec. 8 at Columbia’s Williams-Brice Stadium for Classes 3A through 5A.

Dec. 8 also is the date of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl (also known as the North-South All-Star Game). If, by chance, the season is pushed back another week, the state finals for Classes 3A-5A will be on Dec. 15, the same day as the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

In 2015, because of catastrophic flooding, the playoffs for football, girls’ tennis and volleyball were pushed back one week. That happened for the first time since 1989 from Hurricane Hugo.

Then, in 2016, because of Hurricane Matthew, the football season was pushed back two weeks, and the playoff schedule for most other SCHSL fall sports also were affected.

But this year, so far, those other SCHSL sports besides football won’t have their schedules changed because they can play multiple times during the week to make up for lost games.

The South Carolina Independent School Association, however, will not extend its football season. If SCISA’s teams are unable to get in their games another way, their final record will be just that – minus one game.

Seven SCISA football games in the Pee Dee were not played last week because of the weather.

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