Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced on Sunday, Mar. 15 that all SC public schools would close starting Monday, Mar. 16 through Tuesday, Mar. 31 to prevent the spread of the virus.
With school no longer in session, high school sports are suspended as well. On Mar. 16, South Carolina High School League held a teleconference to decide when to suspend the season until, and landed on suspending it through Sunday, Apr. 5. The organization will reassess the situation via another teleconference on Thursday, Apr. 2.
Local high school baseball, softball and soccer coaches reacted to the news of the suspension of spring sports.
Andrews varsity baseball head coach Richie Poston
“We thought we had been through the tough part of the season with the rain we had, but then this comes along. It is another obstacle that faculty and staff have to attack and be proactive about to make the best out of it. I support the government, school district, and the high school league’s decision to suspend school and sport until further notice. We may look back and say we overreacted, but I do not want to look back and wish we did more to prevent bad things from happening to our students and staff. We as coaches have to trust the players will be proactive in staying in shape and on top of school work, but also being safe while doing so. Just praying this passes and we can get back to normal.”
St. James varsity baseball head coach Robbie Centracchio
“I am hopeful that we will be able to play at some point in time, but also realize this is an unprecedented event. We had a great opening week with a shutout during our home opening wall of fame game. Then, earned a hard-fought 1-0 region-opening win at West Florence Friday (Mar. 13) night. I am praying for safety for our players and family during this time and for the chance for our team to keep competing.”
Waccamaw varsity softball assistant coach Jessica Smith
“I think it’s unfortunate that we were only able to get a few games in this season before everything was shut down. I understand why everything has happened like it has, but I still think it’s unfortunate for all the players, especially the seniors. I am definitely hopeful that this season will be spared in some part to be able to give our seniors a proper send-off. Everyone else has at least one more year to play, whereas the seniors don’t. I would hate for their high school careers to end like they did. So I’m crossing my fingers that the powers that be will figure out a way for us to play again this year.”
Georgetown varsity boys’ soccer head coach Chris Hapeshis
“Like most coaches, players, and parents I am very disappointed that the season has been suspended. However, I certainly understand the need for it with such a unique situation. I am remaining optimistic that conditions will improve and we will be able to end our season in some sort of normal fashion. I hurt most for our Class of 2020 right now as they are certainly worried that they may not have the opportunity to play out most of their senior season, not to mention prom and graduation. Unfortunately, I was not able to speak to them face to face since our last games back on Thursday, Mar. 12. I did message them all to keep their heads and hope up that we will be able to get back on the field eventually and also to stay safe and remain fit.”
Andrews varsity boys’ soccer head coach Shane Maglich
“I definitely wish we were playing. And I hope the season will continue. So much of these kids’/players’ lives is the game of soccer. Some of these seniors could have graduated early during their junior year, but chose to stay in high school and take extra classes to play the game one more year. This is also the year that the colleges really start their recruiting process for the next college season. They use this time to come and watch their prospect play the game. Some colleges have even contacted me for possible prospects. Not sure at this time how this is even going to work. I hope for the best not only for the country during this virus, but for the next step in these young athletes’ lives. This is a new path for everyone and I hope and pray that we can figure it out. Our decisions as adults and leaders will be affecting so many young adults’/athletes’ futures. I hope for the best.”