As students return to school in Horry County on Tuesday, so too returns the gridiron action missed over the past three weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
In Week 7, local teams are planning to practice all school week and play games on either Saturday or Monday, as allowed by the South Carolina High School League.
Myrtle Beach will travel to Darlington for a noon kickoff on Saturday, Green Sea Floyds will play at Timmonsville on Saturday at 6 p.m., Aynor and Marion will play Saturday at 7:30 p.m., South Florence and Carolina Forest are scheduled to play Saturday at 7 p.m., Socastee will travel to Conway on Saturday at 6 p.m., West Florence and St. James will play in the home of the Sharks on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Dillon and Loris and North Myrtle Beach at Wilson have not announced changes to their scheduled games, but are expected to play over the weekend. Waccamaw at Bishop England will go on Friday as scheduled.
Football programs are going back to the practice fields for the first time in three weeks, and are trying to ensure they have enough time to prepare.
“It’s difficult to do when the game is just five days away,” Aynor coach Jason Allen said about getting ready to come back and play. “It really puts you in a bind from the standpoint of practice management. How much time is needed for conditioning, fundamentals, contact drills, etc.? That’s the hardest part.”
The Grand Strand’s football teams haven’t seen game action since Week 3, when Myrtle Beach trounced Socastee, North Myrtle Beach squeaked by St. James with an uninspired effort that prompted the rage of coach Matt Reel, Green Sea Floyds took out Loris, and Aynor and Carolina Forest each picked up wins, while Conway dropped a contest against Hartsville. Since then, Weeks 4, 5 and 6 have been wiped out, with many teams electing not to make up games from their nonregion schedules.
“No team is going to play a nonregion game right before the playoffs start,” said Carolina Forest’s Marc Morris when the SCHSL announced a Week 11 would be added to the season. Many teams are planning to play their Week 6 contests in this makeup week on Nov. 2.
Coming back from such a long period of time away from football activities, Allen and the other area coaches are faced with a dilemma: How do you get ready for a game when players haven’t had organized football activities in over three weeks?
“(We) don’t want to overload the kids,” he said. “They haven’t hit anyone in almost a month. Their safety is the most important thing. So, we are working to balance all of that (and get ready for Marion). It’s difficult.”
Area teams have to hit the ground running, as they will be playing region contests for the next five weeks to determine playoff positioning.
Week Seven football schedule
- Waccamaw at Bishop England – Friday at 7:30 p.m.
- Myrtle Beach at Darlington – Saturday at noon
- Socastee at Conway – Saturday at 6 p.m.
- Green Sea Floyds at Timmonsville – Saturday at 6 p.m.
- South Florence at Carolina Forest – Saturday at 7 p.m.
- Dillon at Loris – Saturday at 7 p.m.
- North Myrtle Beach at Wilson – Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
- Aynor at Marion – Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
- West Florence at St. James – Monday at 6:30 p.m.