SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – With the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the South Carolina High School League sent a survey to its member schools to get feedback on how to proceed with scheduling this fall.
7 News spoke with an athletic director on Wednesday about what’s at stake.
“I’ll tell you, it’s been quite depressing here over the last four months or so since sports have been shut down,” Dorman High School Athletic Director Flynn Harrell said. “So, we’re very eager and excited to try and get things going this fall.”
Flynn Harrell told 7 News he’s ready for school to start back, but he said that he understands that–in order to have sports–it may have to look a little different than years past.
“The safety of our students and our athletes and our coaches and our fans is most important. That comes number one,” Harrell said.
As we reported earlier this week, the SCHSL sent a survey to Dorman, and other schools across the state, to get their input on how they think sports should look this coming school year.
“The main thing is: Let’s have sports in some form or fashion so that our athletes–who have worked so hard and that this means so much to–can actually play,” Harrell said.
That includes rising senior and basketball star Jalen Breazeale.
“It’s important that we get in the gym, working on our game,” Breazeale said. “In the weight room as well as on the floor, so we kind of build that chemistry with each other.”
Right now, Harrell says there are several potential changes we could expect to see in the 2020-2021 school year.
“We may have to have some condensed seasons,” he said. “We may have to move some sports around in the calendar–particularly the ones that are higher impact, as far as the cases are concerned, where social distancing is difficult.”
Some of the most at-risk sports are the ones that make the most money.
“Without a doubt, football generates the most revenue for us and that helps to drive so many of our other sports, so it is important,” Harrell said.
Harrell told 7 News that if sports go on, there could be restrictions on the amount of fans allowed at games.
“As long as we have a season and get to play some games, and hopefully chase that state championship, I’d be fine with that,” Breazeale said.
Harrell now has a message for student-athletes, like Breazeale, who are itching to get back.
“Do your part. Wear those masks when you’re out in public, wash your hands, and social distance,” he said. “That will give us a greater chance to come back and play the sports we love- and certainly, more importantly than that- get back to school this fall.”
The SCHSL has yet to announce any plans it intends to put into place for the upcoming year.
The South Carolina Football Coaches Association and a group of high school athletic directors from across the state continue to hold meetings to come up with potential solutions to provide the league as well.