SCISA to push back start of football season one week


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Wilson Hall football head coach Adam Jarecki has no issues with the decision by the South Carolina Independent School Association to institute a dead period for the start of fall practice and pushing back the start of the season by one week.

As long as it means getting on the gridiron.

"I'll do anything they say as long as we get to play," Jarecki said. "Moving it back a couple of days, I understand why. I'm completely in favor of it. I will do anything to get to play."

SCISA began Phase 1 workouts in early June due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the positive tests have risen dramatically in South Carolina over the last few weeks, SCISA has continued to operate on the initial schedule it had set.

Until Wednesday.

A dead period will begin on Friday and run through Sunday, Aug. 2. The first day of practice for all sports was originally scheduled to start on Thursday, July 30. Now practice will begin on Aug. 3.

Laurence Manning Academy head coach Austin Floyd said the move doesn't really affect what he and his staff are doing.

"It really only knocked us out of two practices," said Floyd, who had already incorporated some off days into next week's schedule. "To me it makes sense to give them this time off."

The first week of the regular season for football was originally scheduled for Aug. 21. Now the first Friday games can be played is on Aug. 28.

The first day all of the other fall sports can begin is still set for the original date of Aug. 17.

SCISA also eliminated Week Zero from the football schedules as well as preseason jamborees and scrimmages.

When Aug. 3 rolls around, a 3-phase plan will be used regarding equipment use. The first phase will be helmets only, while Phase 2, which is set to begin on Aug. 10, will be limited to helmets and shoulder pads. The final phase will begin on Aug. 17 with full-pad workouts allowed.

Jarecki said he's been happy with how his student-athletes have handled the summer workouts.

"It's gone really well," he said. "It's been as good as it's kind of been in years. I think part of that is the players are ready to do something, get going. A lot have not been able to do anything, so they're chomping at the bits to get going."

Jarecki said his squad has had no issues with coronavirus, as did Floyd.

"It's not been a typical summer," Floyd said. "We continue to check kids. We haven't had any fevers on campus. With the 2.5 phase (of summer workouts) we've been able to do intrasquad 7-on-7s. It's not the same, but at least it allows them some competition."