Charleston County School District pauses sports with 10 teams in quarantine

VIDEO: CCSD putting pause on winter athletics

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Winter competitions are being put on hold in the Charleston County School District. This comes after district officials say nearly 200 games across the state had to be canceled because of the coronavirus last week.

Nearly a third of the 60 basketball and wrestling teams in the Charleston County School District have had to quarantine since mid-November. Jeff Borowy, chief operating officer for CCSD, says there are still 10 teams in quarantine as of Thursday.

“What we have seen is that the number of close contacts in our athletic teams is much higher than in the school population which has led us to this point to make some adjustments,” Borowy said while suggesting the actual number of positive COVID-19 cases is comparable to the general student population.

Adjustments include canceling games and competitions until Jan 10. That means each basketball team will miss an average of three games. Practices can continue through Dec. 30.

“They’re essentially playing in a bubble,” Borowy said. “By stopping games for the rest of this week and the first week of January they stay together as a small group allowing them to maintain conditioning.”

District officials, along with their health partners, will reevaluate the decision on January 4th. Borowy says what other districts are doing will weigh heavily, but not entirely, on their decision.

“If we see a huge jump in cancelations, we will know other teams have had problems and that might be part of our decision to continue the suspension or to come back depending on the numbers,” Borowy said. “We will also be looking at a case by case within each school.”

Winter sports are taking the brunt of the decision to pause competitions but spring and even fall sports have cut back their workouts as well. James Island Charter High School Head Football Coach Jamar McKoy says he understand what the basketball and wrestling teams are going through.

“It’s unfortunate the winter sports are having to deal with this a second time in less than a year,” McKoy said. “It’s tough but, right now, this is the environment we live in. We teach the kids to play through adversity and we have to coach through adversity as well.”

He says he learned about the decision on Wednesday and knows the other coaches are prepared to handle the challenges.

“They’re all excellent coaches. They’re going to prepare and have their teams ready to compete when they get the thumbs up to do so,” McKoy said. “The COVID has changed everyone’s lives but it has taught us one thing and that is how to persevere.”

The district says there is a week between the regular season and playoffs where those games can be made up .

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