The 29th Annual Conway National Bank Kickoff Classic went off without a hitch on Friday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
Following a 30-minute preplanned delay to knock some of the heat out of the day, Green Sea Floyds and Socastee hit the artificial playing surface to commence the high school football season. The 30-minute delay was due in part to the playing surface being artificial turf, which, according to www.safehealthyplayingfields.org, can feel 35-55 degrees hotter than a grass field on warm sunny days.
“Our guys have been readying for this atmosphere and playing conditions throughout the summer,” said Green Sea Floyds head coach Donnie Kiefer. “All summer we’ve had to deal with the conditions, from the rain and storms of July to the heat wave we’ve felt the last few weeks.”
To combat the elements, Kiefer and his team have been doing what all Horry County coaches have – playing it by ear and utilizing their schools’ facilities to continue to get their work in each day. North Myrtle Beach head coach Matt Reel and Myrtle Beach’s Mickey Wilson echoed the sentiments of the veteran coach, adapting to what is put on their plate each day.
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“We’ve had to adapt to what Mother Nature has for us each day and make sure we’re following the rules put in place by the (South Carolina High School) League. We aren’t at any advantage over our opponents each week, they’re all dealing with the same weather as we are,” Kiefer said. “Luckily for us, our coaching staff and players are getting in good work in the film room and in the gym when we have to resort to those things.”
In Conway, where The Backyard historically has had drainage problems, the Tigers are doing everything they can to preserve the integrity of the playing surface before Thursday’s Week Zero matchup against North Myrtle Beach.
“We haven’t touched our home field since the spring game,” said Coach Carlton Terry. “We are doing all we can to prepare our guys mentally and physically to get ready for the season. We’re working hard and are going about things as best we can right now to prepare our kids. It’s hard sometimes, being at Conway with the field conditions, but, if it rains we still have to play, just like our opponent.”
Conway National Bank Kickoff Classic results
Green Sea Floyds 28, Socastee 13: Green Sea Floyds relied on a strong running game and an opportunistic defense to jump on Socastee and provide the first result of the Kickoff Classic. A pair of turnovers and a defensive score aided the Trojans over the Braves.
Conway 7, Loris 6: Conway returns a strong defensive unit, but is still looking to find its groove in the preseason on offense. In a 20-minute slugfest, the Conway defense stopped a 2-point conversion to preserve the slim margin of victory for the Tigers.
Carolina Forest 35, Aynor 14: Carolina Forest flew around the field on both offense and defense, scoring on the ground and in the air. The Panthers looked focused on the task at hand, scoring a defensive touchdown that was later called back due to penalty.
North Myrtle Beach 41, Waccamaw 14: Coming off an undefeated regular season and returning a senior quarterback, North Myrtle Beach looked the part of a top team against Waccamaw. Through the air and on the ground, the Chief attack couldn’t be stopped.
Myrtle Beach 28, St. James 7: Myrtle Beach took control of its contest with St. James early, scoring on its first drive and getting a stop to give the ball back to its offense. The Seahawks kept the pedal down to send its fans home happy with a resounding victory.