Georgetown High School believes the proposed realignment in the South Carolina High School League’s five-class would result in crippling consequences.
The school has formally appealed its placement with Charleston-area schools for the 2016-2018 window, and it will make a presentation to the SCHSL on Sept. 17 in Columbia. What Georgetown officials will say, though, is no secret.
Co-Athletics Director Bradley Adams, also the school’s football coach, broke down what he, fellow Athletics Director Ken Cribb and Principal Craig Evans felt their biggest concerns were.
“We feel like we would have a hard time funding our sports,” Adams said. “We’re concerned about academic performance because our kids will be getting home so late. We’re scared that we’re going to lose media coverage because we won’t be playing teams in the Pee Dee or the Grand Strand. That isn’t fair to our kids.
“We have to, for the safety of our student-athletes, at least try. We’re hoping with the grounds, we should have a pretty good shot at it.”
On all three points, Georgetown’s arguments appear to hold water. The school is proposing to move from Region VII-AAA (the Charleston one) – where the proposal has it placed – into Region VI-AAA, one that will include area programs Waccamaw, Loris and Aynor, as well as Dillon and Lake City.
Georgetown’s average travel distance to schools in the Charleston region would be 65 miles, approximately 15 miles longer per trip versus the Region VI-AAA teams. It would essentially undo all of the help the school received by a district mandate for the four county programs to play each other in non-region games each year.
Adams said the travel difference, multiplied by all of Georgetown’s sports across varsity and junior varsity levels would be debilitating. He went as far to say that is could lead to a cut in programs in the future.
“With our ninth- and 10th-graders, it would take away from their high school experience,” Adams said. “We just can’t fund the J.V. programs like that.”
As far as the media coverage, common sense says Georgetown would lose out there, too. None of the media outlets covering the other five schools in the proposed Region VI-AAA (Bishop England, Hanahan, Lake Marion, Manning and Timberland) have regular, independent coverage of Georgetown High sports teams. And with half of their region games for all sports played there, it stands to reason fewer Grand Strand or Pee Dee outlets would travel for those.
Georgetown was the lone school among the 12 in The Sun News’ coverage area to declare it would be filing an appeal next week.
After the Sept. 17 meeting, the SCHSL could release its finalized realignment plan. It will be the first time in state history that it has used a five-classification system.
AROUND HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Aynor coach Jody Jenerette said Jalen Dixon will start seeing more carries, especially after his crucial run in last week’s win over Green Sea Floyds. Dixon, who was moved to defensive line because of a need there, broke away for a 69-yard run in the fourth quarter that helped the Blue Jackets ice the game. “We just love him so much on d-line,” Jenerette said. “After [Friday], we’re going to see a lot more Jalen Dixon.” Dixon has just four carries this year after rushing for 497 yards as a junior. … North Myrtle Beach running back Cullen Mitchell is unlikely to play this week at Carolina Forest after taking a blow to the head in the second half of last week’s win over West Brunswick (N.C.), according to coach Blair Hardin. … Myrtle Beach tailback Brandon Sinclair, who rushed for 208 yards against West Florence last week, now has 16 100-yard games for his career. It’s the most of any active player on the Grand Strand, five ahead of Carolina Forest’s Dyverse Simmons.
Most college football fans in the area noticed Everett Golson’s debut with Florida State on Saturday. The former Myrtle Beach quarterback threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns in his first game with the Seminoles after transferring from Notre Dame.
But Golson wasn’t the only former Grand Strand player who had a successful start with his college team.
Hunter Renfrow, a 2014 Socastee graduate, caught two passes for 29 yards and made a key block on a long touchdown for Clemson in a win over Wofford. Renfrow, who originally walked on at Clemson and red-shirted last season, was awarded a scholarship last month and played in the Tigers’ season opener. Both of his receptions came in the first half of a 49-10 victory.
Waccamaw graduate Tyler Davis saw playing time for The Citadel in a blowout victory over Davidson. Davis, the area’s lone Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection last December, is a backup offensive lineman for the Bulldogs.
Former Myrtle Beach quarterback Tyler Keane, who at one point had tied the state record for eight touchdown passes in a game and still holds the school record for passing yards in a game, converted a two-point conversion run for Coastal Carolina at Furman. Keane is the team’s starting holder on field goals and extra points.
SCHSL PROPOSED REALIGNMENT FOR 2016-2018
Where local teams landed
Region VI-AAAAA: Carolina Forest, Conway, Socastee, South Florence, Sumter, West Florence
Region VII-AAAA: Marlboro County, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, St. James, Wilson
Region VI-AAA: Aynor, Dillon, Lake City, Loris, Waccamaw
Region VII-AAA: Bishop England, Georgetown, Hanahan, Lake Marion, Manning, Timberland
Region VII-AA: Andrews, Carvers Bay, Johnsonville, Kingstree, Latta, Marion, Mullins
Region VI-A: Creek Bridge, East Clarendon, Green Sea-Floyds, Hannah-Pamplico, Hemingway, Lake View
NOTE: Appeals to this plan will be heard on Sept. 17, with the SCHSL finalizing its plan shortly after.