As another hurricane or tropical storm bears down on the Grand Strand, local football coaches are preparing for the possibility of an altered schedule, but are hopeful that Week Eight will go on as planned.
Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida on Wednesday and the Grand Strand is expected to see impacts Thursday and possibly into Friday. In the thick of the region portion of the high school football schedule, coaches aren’t looking forward to upsetting their routines any more than they have been over the past four weeks.
“(We shouldn’t) have any schedule changes, but at this point, who knows?” Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said.
North Myrtle Beach coach Matt Reel, with his team coming off its first loss of the season, hopes Horry County will remain in school so his team can have scheduling flexibility to get their game against Darlington played this week.
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“(It) will all depend on Horry County Schools and if we are in school or not. Brunswick County (N.C.) has already canceled Thursday and Friday,” he said. “My plan is to play on Friday, or at the worst Saturday.
“But that will depend on what the school district will allow. Obviously, safety is the most important thing in this process.”
Horry County Schools has a policy requiring school to be in session in order for student-athletes to practice or participate in athletic competitions, and contact sports require at least two days of practice prior to a game. Non-contact sports require at least one.
Schools in Horry and Georgetown counties were out Thursday, but according to Roger Dixon, a spokesman for Horry County Schools athletics, football teams will be allowed to play Friday or Saturday as long as school is in session Friday. Teams played or practiced Monday through Wednesday.
“The two day or longer requirement was set in place due to the lengthy time the students were away from activities during our previous weather event,” Dixon said.
Aynor has already moved up its junior varsity game against Dillon from Thursday to Wednesday, but coach Jason Allen is hopeful to get the varsity game in on Friday night as scheduled. Socastee, St. James, and Conway have all announced similar changes to play JV contests a day early. For his varsity team, Allen boiled down his desires very simply.
“We need some normalcy.”
Week 8 Grand Strand football schedule
Aynor at Dillon
St. James at Carolina Forest
Conway at South Florence
Lake View at Green Sea Floyds
Loris at Cheraw
Myrtle Beach at Marlboro County
Darlington at North Myrtle Beach
West Florence at Socastee
Manning at Waccamaw