It’s too soon for football to resume on an equitable basis in South Carolina, according to one prominent coach, and he’s claiming the decision to return to game action Friday puts schools in hurricane ravaged districts at a significant disadvantage.
As reported by the Myrtle Beach Sun News, Myrtle Beach football coach Mickey Wilson is beyond upset that his team is being forced to return to action just a week after Hurricane Florence caused significant flooding and damage.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Wilson told the Sun News. “To me, this is absurd. We have a model in place to push the season back two weeks, like we did when (Hurricane) Matthew came through a few years ago.
“Honestly, this decision throws the Grand Strand and Pee Dee under the bus. The high school league is supposed to be about fairness, and this isn’t fair to the Grand Strand and Pee Dee.”
The Grand Strand and Pee Dee are the parts of South Carolina that were most effected by Florence. Schools in those areas are largely still closed, which means they’ll be expected to play in a competitive game on less than 48 hours of preparation after a full 10 days off during a time of crisis and instability.
Meanwhile, schools in the other part of the state, Upstate, have been back in session in recent days, which allows them to hold football practices and prepare for games on Friday while schools in the more impacted Grand Strand and Pee Dee remain stuck on the sideline. If you think that sounds unfair, well, so do Wilson and a variety of other area coaches.
“The Upstate and other areas across the state are gaining a competitive advantage over the schools in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee,” Wilson told the Sun News. “The high school league needs to give us that competitive advantage back by pushing the season back two weeks. Why they haven’t done that is ridiculous to me and throws the Grand Strand and Pee Dee under the bus.”
As it stands, Myrtle Beach will travel to Conway on Friday, a school in Horry County, where classes remain suspended. Based on state rules requiring two days of preparation before competition, Conway will be unable to host the game unless it is announced Wednesday afternoon that classes will return later this week.
That could force the SCHSL’s hand, at least in Horry and Myrtle Beach’s case, though it remains to be seen whether their game would be rescheduled to a later mid-week slot or a full week delay.