Another week of high school football has been impacted by the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, and this time it has big implications on the postseason.
Week 6 starts region play for our local teams, which means missing these games has an impact on playoff seeding and positioning at season’s end. Without some sort of word from the South Carolina High School League, coaches are planning to play their makeup Week 6 games in the newly added Week 11, eliminating the makeup of Week Four and Week Five games.
“We’re playing West Florence (Week 6’s opponent) in Week 11, and we’ll be preparing to play Socastee next Friday,” said Conway’s Carlton Terry.
Included in Week 6’s games are Cheraw at Aynor, Carolina Forest at Socastee, Conway at West Florence, Baptist Hill at Green Sea Floyds, Loris at Lake City, Myrtle Beach at Hartsville, Marlboro County at North Myrtle Beach, South Florence at St. James and Georgetown at Waccamaw.
Along with Terry, Myrtle Beach’s Mickey Wilson, North Myrtle Beach’s Matt Reel and Loris’ Jamie Snider stated their intentions to play their Week 6 games on Nov. 2, the makeup date provided by the SCHSL.
“We haven’t heard anything yet, so we are looking at returning to action (Week 7),” said Reel. “That’s assuming we get back to school that week to prepare.”
Tommy Norwood, St. James’ first-year head coach who has more than 30 years of experience in North Carolina, said he’s never faced anything like the past three weeks of scheduling and hopes the SCHSL will make a move to help the Grand Strand.
“(At this point) we need to move this region game to the last date and not play Week 4 or Week 5 games,” he said, “unless there is some way to work those games in before region play. That’s without talking with anyone (above me) and being the old and new guy – old in football, new in South Carolina.”
To play a football game, teams must have two days of practice during the week. If school is back in session on Wednesday of next week, Friday night games can go on as scheduled. There is the possibility of playing games on a Monday, if necessary.
“If we have to practice four days next week and play day five, it will be extremely tough,” said Aynor coach Jason Allen. “This is a game of conditioning, execution and mental preparation. We will be nowhere close to being ready for a game in any of those categories if that scenario plays out, but we will do what we have to do.”
In Conway, where flooding has stopped some people from being able to move around and get out of their homes, the football staff knows it will be tough to get players back in football mode.
“The biggest challenge is getting the guys back in physical shape,” Terry said. “Some of our players haven’t been able to get out due to flooded roads, so they have been laying around the house eating everything but the kitchen sink.”
For now, administrators and coaches are waiting for word from the SCHSL to see if they will get any kind of break from the governing body. If not, most Grand Strand schools will play an eight-game football season, with more than half of the season being region games.
Week 6 football schedule
- Cheraw at Aynor
- Carolina Forest at Socastee
- Conway at West Florence
- Baptist Hill at Green Sea Floyds
- Loris at Lake City
- Myrtle Beach at Hartsville
- Marlboro County at North Myrtle Beach
- South Florence at St. James
- Georgetown at Waccamaw