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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

Horry County Schools is prepared to get student-athletes back on the field. 

The district — which initially allowed for voluntary workouts beginning in June before scrapping the plan after just two weeks — has given schools the OK to commence them again.

School district athletics liaison Roger Dixon said this will only apply to fall sports, not winter or spring athletics. 

The sessions, which are available beginning Monday, are expected to have most of the same precautions as the initial ones. However, there will be slightly more flexibility for the use of limited shared equipment, thanks to the S.C. High School League.

On Thursday, the SCHSL is expected to go over its protocols for a move to Phase 1.5 for voluntary workouts. That plan allows teams to use their respective balls for each sport, but also a slight uptick in numbers per pod. The league sent emails to member schools saying that could begin statewide on Monday.

Horry County officials met over the weekend to discuss their own plans. This week, they elected to re-open.

As far as Phase 1.5, it only applies to fall sports conditioning. Winter and spring sports will stay in Phase 1, which limits each pod of athletes to 10 people (nine athletes, one coach). Temperature checks, questionnaires, social distancing and mask requirements will remain in place for sports from all three seasons.

Currently, fall sports are slated to begin full practices no earlier than Aug. 17. However, SCHSL Commissioner Jerome Singleton has said that a further pushback could happen in advance of that date.

The Lexington 1 proposal, which calls for several sports to switch seasons, will be voted on by the SCHSL Appellate Panel on Aug. 10.

As far as the summer conditioning, all sessions are considered voluntary. At one point this summer, four of the five largest districts in the state all had their conditioning programs shut down. However, some of those and others around the state have since reinstituted them.


Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236


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