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Basketball Brings COVID Challenges for South Carolina Schools

December 14, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationBasketballCoachingWrestling
The high school basketball season is already underway in South Carolina, and teams have already been met with positive COVID-19 cases and game cancelations.

In a recent report from TheState.com, it was noted that roughly 170 of 394 public school varsity basketball games scheduled for last week were either canceled or postponed, according to the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL).

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Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

Last week SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton said that there were no plans to pause or shut down winter sports, but will monitor COVID-19 numbers and trends in the area, TheState.com reported. Last Friday, the Palmetto State saw a single-day high of 3,137 new COVID-19 cases.

“I’m just rolling with the punches,” Keenan coach Zach Norris told TheState.com. “I am taking it one day at a time and praying we can make it through a season. We already have had enough setbacks. … Kind of expected it to happen with the situation in the country at hand. You can never be assured of anything. And our kids are growing up and maturing through this.”

Some school districts have already pressed pause on the winter sports season, suspending sports until January with the hopes that recent case surges fall. But making decisions on the fly is something South Carolina athletic administrators are used to. According to TheState.com, about 10 to 12 percent of the SCHSL football schedule was altered with cancelations and postponements. Football was deemed a high-risk sport in the state and, by in large, COVID-19 trends did not spike through the season.

Basketball was deemed a moderate-risk sport, but there is the added wrinkle of scheduling multiple games per week. In the website’s report, it noted during a typical season a basketball team could schedule up to 27 games. This year, however, public schools are trying to play between 14 and 18 games with a precedence of scheduling nearby opponents to cut down on travel.

Wrestling, a high-risk sport, starts up in South Carolina this week and presents the challenge of potentially hosting a number of teams in a single building. One school, however, hosted an outdoor wrestling tournament on its football field recently, according to TheState.com.

To read the full report from TheState.com on how South Carolina high schools are preparing and adjusting for the winter sports season, click here