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Socastee High School football players go through conditioning exercises in Horry County’s first phase of opening for the season. The phase limits groups to 10 at a time, enforced social distancing, a facemask requirement when not exercising and hand sanitizing often. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Mere hours before kickoff, Socastee cancelled its varsity football game against Waccamaw for Friday night.

According to Horry County Schools, it was the result of a Braves player testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day. It was Horry County’s first direct COVID-19-related football cancellation during the 2020 season after several other cancellations or schedule changes from teams outside the area.

“The Socastee High School versus Waccamaw High School varsity football game has been canceled for [Friday],” the statement from Horry County Schools read. “This cancellation was a result of a junior varsity football player receiving a DHEC-confirmed COVID-19 positive test result [Friday] after the player practiced with the varsity football team on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The Socastee High School nurse is currently working with the SCDHEC nurse to conduct the contact tracing process.”

Officials from Socastee could not immediately be reached for comment, so it was not clear if this will affect the Braves’ game next week against Aynor. Blue Jackets Athletics Director Josh Spivey responded to a message from MyHorryNews.com stating that he had yet to be informed of any changes to next week’s schedule, and district spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said HCS was still determining future action.

As far as Socastee, the Braves have already completed Region VI-5A play this season and will not qualify for the postseason. First-year coach Ben Hampton’s team is attempting to put together its first winning record in five seasons. 

While this was the first varsity program in the county to have a positive test directly affect a game, it was by no means the first schedule change for the area. Earlier this week, North Myrtle Beach cancelled its non-region game against St. James — set for next week. Carolina Forest, Conway and Green Sea Floyds all previously lost non-region games that were scheduled for next Friday due to changes with their initial opponents region needs

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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