Aiken County prep sports schedule affected due to COVID-19

·2 min read

Aug. 30—COVID-19 is causing scheduling issues with prep sports teams across the area.

Multiple schools in Aiken County have been forced to cancel or postpone games this week.

Aiken High School announced Sunday that its next two football games have been postponed.

According to an official statement posted on the team's social media account, the varsity football will have game activities paused for two weeks because of COVID-19.

Aiken High's game against Silver Bluff High School on Sept. 3 and Dreher High School on Sept. 10 have been postponed. "The team will be able to resume all activities on September 11," according to the statement.

"COVID has impacted our sports teams with quarantines, with the football team seeing the greatest impact," Phillip Blacha, Aiken High's athletic director, said. "...Many of our seniors only had four games last year so when we talk about recruiting, these student-athletes are losing opportunities."

When a high school football home game is canceled, money is lost — which is why, according to Blacha, the Aiken High athletics department fundraises so much. Last year the athletics department lost nearly $40,000 in gate revenue, though fundraising helped mitigate the loss of opportunities for other student athletes.

The game against Silver Bluff has been rescheduled for Sept. 24, according to Aiken High. That leaves Silver Bluff looking for an opponent for this week; the Bulldogs also had last week's game against Williston-Elko scrapped because of COVID-19.

Wagener-Salley announced Monday that all volleyball games for this week have been canceled in a statement from Willie Fox, the school's head football coach and athletic director.

Fox said everyone is trying to navigate through COVID-19.

"We've got several volleyball players quarantined and the coaches made the decision that we don't have enough," Fox said.

"We've got a lot of them coming back late in the week so it's a good chance that we will come back next week and play again."

Fox Creek is also having to cancel a football game for the second time this year. The school announced Sunday the cancellation of this week's game against McCormick.

Last week Aiken County schools reported 147 positive students and 22 positive employees, with 1,112 quarantined students and 51 quarantined employees. There were also three schools with hospitalizations.

Aiken County will continue to update COVID-19 data on a weekly basis.

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