ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - “If changes don’t come into place, it’s going to be very hard for us to put any of our fall sports seasons together.”
That quote coming from South Carolina High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton as the league starts to look into alternative plans for fall sports seasons with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
We are 52 days away from the first high school football games, so it is now a race against time if they hope to start on time.
In South Carolina, they are still in phase one of workouts which is just conditioning at this point.
The hope was that by now, they would be throwing footballs around and getting closer to 7 on 7s. The footballs remain in coaches offices and will remain there until the numbers of positive cases come down and the news of when that may be is not very promising.
“We originally thought that the positive cases were effecting those 60 years and older, but now the indication, at least in South Carolina, the people being infected are 15 to 25,” said Singleton. “That’s our students. I’ve had some conversations with DHEC and they are thinking that number may change again. They are thinking it may go down to 7 year old to 25 so that is truly all of our kids including middle schools and high schools so I’m very concerned.”
Even with the spike in cases, conditioning work continues for the Palmetto State. The original recommendations to start conditioning like temperature checks, only 10 people on a field at a time, wearing mask when kids are not working out are now requirements. The league made that official this past Thursday. So if teams are not following these requirements now, they are subject to fines and post season bans.
With the fall seasons approaching soon, there are now serious talks about what they may have to do to get the season in including the possibility of shortening the season.
If that is the case, they will work from the end of the season back to the beginning. What does that mean? Some of the great non region games may have to be sacrificed to crown champs, but at this point, everything is still on the table.
“If we’re trying to preserve the playoffs, then what’s going to be required to make a playoff opportunity work,” said Singleton. “We got 5 rounds of playoffs. Do we need 5 rounds? If we don’t, then that gives us another week or a couple of playing dates that can be available for competition. The biggest thing is, how much time do we need to prepare to play the contest?”
The high school league will be sending out surveys soon to coaches and administrators to get feedback on what they are thinking as the state prepares for the possibility of an adjustment to the fall schedule.
In football terms, it’s is getting into the 4th quarter and plan A may not be working so it may be time for plan B or plan C.