CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County School District officials says they will continue their winter varsity sports programs and competitions beginning Monday.
One of the newest protocols requires players to wear a mask during practice, games and on the sidelines.
Varsity basketball and wrestling teams can participate in region games and matches again, district officials say.
They say junior varsity teams can also resume practice.
Varsity basketball player at Burke High School Quanajah Johnson is ready to compete again.
“It’s very exciting, we’ve been waiting for the moment for the longest,” Johnson said. “I just miss the crowd, the crowd is so energetic. I just miss my team, we all coming together as one.”
School officials say the remainder of the regular season for JV basketball teams will consist of games between CCSD teams only using a schedule developed by the district’s athletic directors and the CCSD Athletics Department.
The district says they will release revised schedules on a school-by-school basis.
They say all CCSD teams will adhere to the South Carolina High School League’s COVID-19 recommendations.
Burke High School’s Athletic Director and boy’s basketball coach Deon Richardson says he and the players are excited to compete again and he stressed the importance of the protocols.
“They’ve seen at any moment anyone can catch this virus,” Richardson said. “They know the concerns, they know the protocols. We just returned to practice last week with every kid playing with masks on and we’re now practicing and playing with masks on so it’s an adjustment period that we’re getting used.”
They are also required to follow the following safety protocols:
- Every player, coach, and assistant coach must wear a mask while on the sidelines and on the court/mat during practice and games
- Team members must stand or be seated at least six feet apart on the sidelines
- Players are required to sanitize (using hand sanitizer) before they step on to and after they leave the court/mat
- Varsity and junior varsity teams must practice separately
“When we got the news last week that we were going to be able to play, practice went up another level the intensity went up,” Richardson said.
District officials say they will continue to review and monitor conditions related to COVID-19 and will consult with local and state medical professionals.
“We want our kids to follow the protocols so that we can continue to play and hopefully nothing bad comes of it,” Richardson said.
Region games are planned to resume with spectators, and the district says schools will ensure COVID-19 safety precautions are followed by those attending. This includes wearing face coverings and social distancing.
The district says special sections for student seating will not be allowed and schools must not exceed the COVID safe seating capacity when selling tickets.
Johnson supports the precautions and knows the importance as someone who has recovered from coronavirus.
“It was bad, it was really bad it was pneumonia but 10 times worse,” Johnson said.
Tickets will only be sold through electronic ticketing services and instead of at the door, organizers say.
For more information, you can contact the CCSD’s Division of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.