Approximately two hours after Green Sea Floyds became the fourth varsity football program in Horry County to be shut down inside of a week, the S.C. High School League distributed a memo to member schools to prioritize the region games on their schedules.
Athletics directors were also instructed to submit tie-breakers to the high school league in the event that any region games can not be played due to COVID-19 quarantines and cancellations.
“Schools have been encouraged to work together to make adjustments to their schedules in order to get all region [games] in,” assistant commissioner Charlie Wentzky said via text message.
The reason for the memo was clear.
With cases on the rise in South Carolina, exposure are, too. The Trojans joined St. James and Loris currently in quarantine protocols, while Myrtle Beach spent the first two days of fall camp wrapping up a quarantine of its own. According to district spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier, Green Sea Floyds will be in quarantine until Aug. 19, the day prior to its season opener. The standard re-acclimation period after a layoff means that home game against East Clarendon is unlikely to be played.
The Trojans have also withdrawn from next week’s CNB Kickoff Classic, something St. James was forced to do Wednesday. According to Classic co-director Chuck Jordan, the pairings for the event now include Waccamaw-Myrtle Beach, Loris-Carolina Forest, North Myrtle Beach-Socastee and Aynor-Conway. Games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Aug. 13.
However, the event as a whole is clearly in jeopardy, especially with the SCHSL suggestion to put more emphasis on the most important regular-season games.
However, even that comes with a new set of problems.
“Fortunately for us, four of our five teams are in the county,” Conway Athletics Director Anthony Carroll said. “It’s something that we could make happen if that’s the route we did decide to go. … I think we do need to get them in early. But if some of the other regions keep them at the end, we’re going to be out of a bunch of games.”
That may be the case either way, and why the SCHSL didn’t dictate exactly when region games should be played. The league did suggest moving non-region games to the last two weeks of the regular season, as most did in 2020, but it wasn’t a hard edict.
As Carroll said, the issue there isn’t within a specific region, but rather how games across them will work. One region could elect to move its primary games to the front portion of the calendar, another region could utilize the middle of the year and another could keep them on the back end. A lack of uniformity would decimate non-region games.
However, it is clear those are no longer a priority.