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Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)
The S.C. High School League executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend its football season a week to offset the impacts of Hurricane Florence.
The threat of the storm affected 50 games last week, eight of them region contests. Those games can now be played on Friday, Nov. 2.
State playoffs will begin the following week, on Nov. 9.
The Class A and AA state championship games will now be played on Dec. 7 at Benedict College, while the AAA, AAAA and AAAAA will be played Dec. 8 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
"I'm just glad the kids get another chance to compete," Oceanside coach Chad Grier said. "We're only guaranteed 10 games in a season so losing a chance to play is a really big deal for the kids."
Nearly 20 more games could be affected this week as certain areas north of the Lowcountry continue to feel the effects of the storm.
High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton said the committee was reluctant to extend the season more than one week. He added that certain situations, in which more than one game is missed, may call for unique scheduling within the extended regular season to make up the lost games. Others may not be made up at all.
"The devastation that our communities and some of our schools have gone through is truly traumatic and we're hoping this helps to create some form of normalcy," Singleton said. "Right now, the committee has been adamant that we need to be very careful how much longer we extend the season of football. So we're right at one week at this point.
"The committee has pretty much determined that we want to try to get it done with one more week added on at the end. So then we have to find ways to be able to do that without coming back and saying we want to add another week at the end of it. Our challenges are the number of days between competition. We just have to be very careful what we explore with that."
Some schools are being more creative with their rescheduling. Berkeley and Fort Dorchester's highly anticipated showdown will now be played on Oct. 5.
Berkeley was originally scheduled to play Goose Creek that week. That game will be pushed back to Nov. 2. Gray and White Knoll will make up their game on Wednesday - during what was originally a bye week for both schools - to avoid moving it to the end of the season.
The high school football season was similarly extended in 2015 because of historic flooding, and again in 2016 because of Hurricane Matthew.
Other fall seasons will not be extended as games in those sports are more easily made up with less days required in between.
The S.C. Independent School Association is unlikely to make up the lost games. SCISA didn't make the games up in 2015 or 2016 either. Playoff seedings were determined by overall regular-season records.
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