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26 Georgia teams affected by South Carolina call to delay football season

ajc.com

South Carolina’s decision Wednesday to delay high school football games until September has 26 Georgia teams scrambling with their schedules.

There are 34 games scheduled between Georgia and South Carolina football teams in 2020, all between Aug. 21 and Sept. 25. Two involved South Carolina state champions Dutch Fork and Wren coming to Georgia.

Rabun County is the Georgia school most affected. Four of the Wildcats’ 10 games were against South Carolina teams Daniel, Greenwood, Walhalla and Pickens.

“Our community was excited because with us being in northeast Georgia, it was right across the line,” Rabun County coach Jaybo Shaw said. “We play them in basketball and some other sports. Unfortunately, we’re unable to make it happen.”

Anticipating potential cancellations over COVID-19 concerns, Shaw had a backup plan, and three Georgia teams have filled the void for games Sept. 4, Sept. 11 and Sept. 25. Shaw declined to name replacements before contracts were signed but indicated they were among the other Georgia schools that lost South Carolina games (schedule at bottom).

Still looking for one more, Shaw wants it known that Aug. 21, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 are open dates for a willing opponent. Rabun County is a Class AA state contender that features blue-chip quarterback recruit Gunner Stockton.

The South Carolina High School League voted Wednesday to move the start of all sports until September because of the pandemic.

Eight of the 34 Georgia-South Carolina games were set for August, so they can’t be played as scheduled. The other 26 games could be played, but it won’t be easy. The South Carolina plan calls for teams to play their region contests first. South Carolina is proposing a seven-game season, which leaves little if any opportunity for non-region or interstate games.

Among the best games that could go unplayed are Wren at Buford on Aug. 21 and Dutch Fork at Brookwood on Sept. 25. Wren (Class AAAA) and Dutch Fork (AAAAA) are reigning South Carolina champions.

Buford director of football operations Justin Johnson said the Buford-Wren game is still on for now.

Also Wednesday, Virginia’s high school association voted not to play football in the fall. Georgia remained on track and announced Wednesday that football teams could issue helmets to be worn for the first time in summer beginning Monday.

Summer workouts are voluntary. Football teams may hold mandatory practices beginning July 27.

Georgia-South Carolina games scheduled:

Aug. 21

Buford vs. Wren (Piedmont)

Rabun County vs. Daniel (Central)

Richmond Academy vs. Midland Valley

South Effingham vs. Beaufort

Aug. 28

Effingham County at Beaufort

Jefferson at Westside (Anderson)

Lakeside (Evans) at North Augusta

Johns Creek vs. Travelers Rest

Sept. 4

Grovetown at North Augusta

Islands at May River

Jefferson vs. Southside

Laney vs. Strom Thurmond (Johnston)

Rabun County vs. Greenwood

Benedictine vs. Beaufort

Carver (Columbus) vs. Spring Valley

Hapeville Charter vs. Oceanside Collegiate

Sept. 11

Cross Creek at Gilbert

Lincoln County at Abbeville

Rabun County at Walhalla

Toombs County at Hilton Head

Hart County vs. Crescent (Iva)

Josey vs. Eau Claire (Columbia)

Screven County vs. Bluffton

Savannah vs. Battery Creek (Beaufort)

Sept. 18

Franklin County at Crescent (Iva)

Savannah at Ridgeland

Windsor Forest at Hilton Head

Buford vs. Ridge View

Burke County vs. North Augusta

Hart County vs. Westside (Anderson)

Sept. 25

Grovetown at Spartanburg

Rabun County at Pickens

Washington-Wilkes at Aiken

Brookwood vs. Dutch Fork

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