Anyone notice where this summer has gone?
Probably not. But with August’s soon approach, it also means that it’s time to get back to business.
July 28 marks the unofficial start to a new SCHSL sports year — though some coaches argue it never ended — as fall sports athletes throughout the Palmetto State report for their first day of practice.
Plenty of other landmarks are to be found on the high school sports calendar. By sport, here are a few to look forward to:
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Football: Teams can begin practice July 28 utilizing helmets only, with Aug. 2 serving as the first day in which teams can don full pads and begin physical contact. The following day teams are permitted to participate in their first scrimmage. Regular season play will begin the weekend of Aug. 17-19, with the playoffs scheduled to start Nov. 3. State championship games are again slated to take place in Columbia. The Class A and 2A tilts set for Dec. 1 at Benedict College’s Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, while Williams-Brice Stadium will play host to the Class 3A, 4A and 5A title games.
Volleyball: Summer drills are permitted to open July 28, with scrimmages on Aug. 4 and preseason contests Aug. 11. Teams can compete in their first regular season contest on Aug. 21. Postseason play will begin Oct. 18 for Class A-3A, while Class 4A and 5A start their playoff journey the following evening. State titles games will take place Nov. 4 at Chapin High School.
Swimming: Student-athletes can take to the pool for their first practice on July 28. Teams can compete in their first scrimmage on Aug. 4, with Aug. 14 serving as the start of the regular season. State swim meets will take place on Oct. 13 and 14 at the University of South Carolina Natatorium in Columbia.
Girls golf: Teams are permitted to begin practice on July 28, with their first allowed scrimmage on Aug. 4. Regular season play starts on Aug. 28, leading up to Upper State and Lower State championships in each class being held Oct. 16 while the state tournament will take place on Oct. 24.
Cross country: Practice can begin for cross country teams on July 28, and scrimmages on Aug. 4. Squads may participate in preseason contests on Aug. 18, while their first meet is allowed on Aug. 28. Qualifying meets are to be held Oct. 28, with the state meet for all classifications taking place Nov. 4 at the Sandhills Research Center in Columbia.
Competitive cheer: July 28 marks the first day in which competitive cheer teams are permitted to begin practice. A month later, the squads can participate in their first competition — one of a maximum of eight contests allowed by the S.C. High School League (SCHSL). Statewide qualifiers will be held on Nov. 7 at Mid-Carolina for Class 3A cheer teams, the Class 4A competition on Nov. 8 at Lower Richland, while Class 5A’s contest is set for Nov. 11 at River Bluff High in Lexington. State finals are set for Nov. 18 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.
Boys and girls basketball: Teams may report for their first practice of the season on Oct. 30, with their first scrimmage allowed on Nov. 6. The first date in which teams can begin playing preseason games is Nov. 17, and regular season contests on Nov. 27. Postseason play will begin for girls hoops squads on Feb. 12, while the boys begin their respective playoff journey the following night. Upper and Lower state finals are to be held Feb. 23 and 24 in Greenville and Florence, respectively, with the state championship games to occur on March 2 and 3 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.
Wrestling: Practice opens for teams throughout the Palmetto State on Oct. 30, with their first scrimmage permitted to take place on Nov. 6. Competitions can begin on Nov. 27. The first round of the playoffs is Feb. 3, 2018. with each classification’s state final set for Feb. 10, 2018. Individuals qualifiers will be Feb. 16-17, 2018, with individual state finals on Feb. 23-24, 2018 at the Anderson Civic Center.
Boys and girls lacrosse: Practice for the upcoming spring season begins Jan. 22, 2018, a full week ahead of all other sports contested at the same time. Teams are permitted to scrimmage on Jan. 29, 2018, with Feb. 19, 2018 serving as the first day of the regular season. The lacrosse state finals are scheduled for April 28, 2018.
Baseball: Teams can begin practice on Jan. 29, 2018, while their first scrimmage is permitted to take place Feb. 5, 2018. A month later, the regular season begins for clubs throughout the Palmetto State. Postseason competition will begin April 24, 2018, with the state championship series for each classification occurring May 12-19, 2018.
Softball: Practice for the upcoming spring season begins Jan. 29, 2018, with teams allowed to scrimmage for the first time on Feb. 5, 2018. Opening Day is March 5, 2018, with postseason play starting April 26, 2018. State championship series for each classification will take place May 14-18, 2018.
Soccer: Jan 29, 2018, marks the first day area soccer teams can return to the pitch for practice, while scrimmages can start taking place on Feb. 5, 2018. The regular season starts on Feb. 26, with postseason play getting underway April 30, 2018. State championship games are scheduled for May 11-12, 2018.
Boys golf: Practice begins Jan. 29, 2018, with teams’ first scrimmage permitted to occur on Feb. 5, 2018. A month later, the 2018 season begins. Upper and Lower state qualifiers will take place May 7-8, 2018, while each classification’s state tournament is set for May 14-15, 2018.
Boys tennis: Similar to other fall sports, Jan. 29, 2018, will mark the open of practice, with scrimmages permitted to begin Feb. 5, 2018. Opening day of the season is March 5, 2018, with state title matches taking place May 12 at the Cayce Tennis Center. The state singles tournament will also be held there on May 14-15, 2018.
Track and field: Practice will begin for track and field athletes on Jan. 29, with the first allowed practice meet against outside competition on Feb. 5, 2018. The regular season is scheduled to begin March 5, 2018, with Upper and Lower state meets and qualifiers on May 5, 2018. The state track meet will take place May 11-12, 2018, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.