Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The Green Wave football team will open next season in North Carolina.
South Carolina High School League realignment for next school year, which is based on school population, moves Beaufort out of the AAAA classification to the AAA classification while moving James Island from Region 8-AAA back into Region 7-AAAA. It has become tradition over the last several years for Region 8-AAAA teams to play teams from Region 7-AAAA. One argument for the marriage of the regions is it cuts down on travel time and costs for non-region contests.
However James Island coaches don’t want to play Summerville, which left a hole in the Green Wave’s 2014 schedule.
“Their coach told us at a meeting that he already had to play Goose Creek and Stratford so he didn’t want to play us,” Summerville coach/Athletic Director John McKissick said.
Other teams have broken the “marriage” tradition in the past but usually because they want to pick up a game with a stronger opponent to either serve as a litmus test for where they stand early in the season or to drop a game against a team they calculate will have a losing season. The point system used to determine playoff seeding for the South Carolina football playoffs awards teams both for playing larger teams and for playing teams who finish the season with a winning record.
James Island’s refusal to play the Summerville football team next season left the Green Wave with no game on Oct. 17. McKissick says he put out notice through the high school league that Summerville was looking to add a game that week, but to no avail.
“We tried to get a game that week but I guess no one had that week open,” McKissick said.
Summerville coaches didn’t want to play one less game this season and were concerned about picking up a game in 2015 as well so they started searching for someone willing to play them in Week 0, the week before most 4-A teams open their season.
That caught the interest of Providence High School coach Justin Hardin.
He and Summerville assistant coach Joe Call were teammates at The Citadel and the coaches took some of their athletes to the same passing camp one summer so Hardin knows about the Green Wave football program and was eager to schedule a game with Summerville.
An agreement was reached for a two-game series. Summerville will open its 2014 season Aug. 22 at Providence, which competes in North Carolina’s biggest classification. In 2015, Providence will travel to Summerville.
“I don’t like going all the way to North Carolina to play, but if we couldn’t find someone to play us then the season after next we would only have four home games and we didn’t want that,” McKissick said. “Providence is a big school like us.
“We have Zack Bailey and they have their own 6-5, 300-pound lineman. They only lost three games last year and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.”
Providence’s Bentley Spain is a senior who is ranked by ESPN as the No. 12 offensive tackle in his class. Bailey, a junior, is ranked as the 17th best offensive guard in his class and is one of 400 athletes being considered for the 2014 U. S. Army’s All-America Game in Texas.