MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - For many across the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee, a return to school means a return to sports.
After COVID-19 brought high school sports to a halt back in the spring, schools are just under three weeks away from kicking off the high school football season.
Tuesday is an exciting one for players across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, as they get to strap on the shoulder pads for the first time this fall.
There were plenty of doubts if it would get to this point, but for the moment coaches and players can breathe a sigh of relief as they’re back doing what they truly love.
The pandemic hasn’t gone anywhere so it will take a team effort from all involved to safely progress through this season and make it as normal as possible.
In a recent Zoom meeting with media from across the state, South Carolina High School League Commissioner Jerome Singleton reiterated that it will be up to individual schools to make the call to play or not, and that no schools will be penalized for not taking the field this season.
“I’m asking the schools to do what’s in the best interest of their community,” Singleton said. “If they feel they need to pause, then pause. If the other schools in the other districts say everything is fine here, we can play, then play. So that way it doesn’t become everybody having to fall under the same guidelines of a selective few.”
With a start date of Sept. 25, things are moving quickly. Teams will be able to don full gear starting on Thursday, with the first date for scrimmages set for this Saturday.
When it comes to fans in the stands, the SCHSL’s only requirements are that fans must be spaced six feet apart and that all spectators and staff must wear masks at games.
Member schools will be allowed to include “standing-room only” sections and non-traditional seating areas to determine stadium capacity.
To reduce contact, the SCHSL is encouraging touchless payment options for tickets and concessions.