Flooding puts a damper on home stretch of fall sports

backyardfloodIt may seem petty to stress over sporting events in a time of life-threatening and property-destroying flooding on the Grand Strand, but the heavy rains have caused one more headache for local sports teams.

With the fall high school season winding down, outdoor sports like cross country, golf and tennis face real challenges ahead in concluding the regular season and region matches. And while swimming and volleyball are played indoors and football has until Friday to get their fields ready for play, travel concerns both locally and regionally could create some serious problems over the final weeks before postseason play.

Poor field and road conditions will undoubtedly postpone events this week, beginning with Monday’s and Tuesday’s school closings for Horry and Georgetown counties, so an already tight schedule will become even more frantic as the playoffs approach. Ironically, swimming may be the first to see its postseason effected, with the SCHSL State Championships postponed until Oct. 17 at the USC Natatorium in Columbia.

Girls golf teams play and practice on local courses, which are expected to be closed for days in an effort to dry out the fairways and greens after the waters recede. Cross country runners will likely be pushed to artificial surfaces as they hit the home stretch of the season, and football squads may be competing for practice space with volleyball teams as both prepare for key region contests. Girls tennis may stand the best chance of wrapping up the regular season by the Oct. 15 deadline, once the courts are free of standing water.

Football may face postponements and venue changes as teams wait for their fields to become playable. That’s also the case for local soccer clubs such as Coast FA and Beach United, which is scheduled to host the Great Carolina Shootout at Market Common this weekend. Teams from all over the East Coast have entered but travel issues could put a damper on the event.

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