Save miles, money, add rivalries, fans with all-Horry region

With South Carolina schools struggling financially, here’s one easy way to cut costs from the state’s sports budgets while adding excitement to the high school sports courts and fields.

It’s time to add some common sense to the SCHSL’s realignment policy, which groups similarly sized schools together into regions. It seems more consideration is given to enrollment sizes than geography.

Despite the fact that South Carolina is one of the least populated states in the nation at about 4 million people, the SCHSL uses a four-classification system for its schools.

Much larger states like California, Florida and Texas use a five- or six-class system, allowing more schools of similar enrollments and with geographic rivals to play in the same league.

In Horry County, for instance, Carolina Forest and Conway are in Region VI-AAAA along with South Florence and West Florence and Sumter ( an average of more than one hour’s drive time per road game).

Meanwhile, just a few miles away from both schools, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Socastee and St. James play in Region VIII-AAA – perfectly natural rivals for the Panthers and the Tigers.

Instead, the rest of the six-team region is rounded out by Georgetown and Florence, making for some fairly long bus rides for the Grand Strand schools. With gas prices near $4 a gallon, that’s a lot of wasted fuel.

We’re not talking about just a couple of long bus trips for the football team, band, cherleaders and fans. We’re talking about the baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, softball, soccer, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling teams, most of them including boys and girls and varsity and junior varsity squads.

By incorporating more classifications with smaller regions, the SCHSL almost guarantees each region is going to require some serious transportation. It means finding five or six schools of similar size in the nearest geographic cluster.

But by dropping to three classes, the SCHSL would have a broader range of enrollments to group together in the same region and more flexibility in pairing schools tat are closer in geography than size.

Imagine a Class AAA region featuring Carolina Forest, Conway, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Socastee and St. James – all Horry County schools, all within a 10 to 30-minute drive of on another, and all big rivals.

Sure, the Panthers and Tigers would have a slight advantage over the Seahawks, Chiefs, Braves and Sharks because of their slightly larger enrollments, but think of the cost savings and revenue increases.

How many Carolina Forest fans make the long drive to Sumter for a game, and vice versa. By replacing Sumter with St. James and it’s a whole other ballgame. Gate receipts would undoubtedly increase for all six schools and 17 sports.

This all-Horry County league (let’s call it the Independent Region of Horry) would allow more of our athletes and fans to enjoy the thrill of competing against neighbors, many of whom attend the same churches or play on the same rec and travel teams with one another.

The same could be done all over the state at a savings that would more than pay for itself in dollars and excitement at the cost of a slightly less level playing field.

It’s a financial and geographic no-brainer, which is perfect for the rocket surgeons who came up with the current system.

Comments

comments

Wild finish halts Mutiny's season in regional semis

Wild finish halts Mutiny's season in regional semisThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny's season come to a close in [more]

Kelly is lone Chanticleer on All-Sun Belt preseason list

Kelly is lone Chanticleer on All-Sun Belt preseason listCoastal Carolina sophomore Silas Kelly was named preseason All-Sun Belt [more]

Coastal football picked to finish last in Sun Belt East

Coastal football picked to finish last in Sun Belt EastThe Sun Belt Conference released the results of its preseason [more]

Sellout crowd sees P-Nats deal Pelicans another loss

Sellout crowd sees P-Nats deal Pelicans another lossJared Young blasted a home run Thursday, but the Myrtle [more]

Coastal's Ellis earns honor from first college program

Coastal's Ellis earns honor from first college programForty-four years after taking his first college job at Cumberland [more]

P-Nats preempt Pelicans' winning streak in opener

P-Nats preempt Pelicans' winning streak in openerThe Potomac Nationals ended the Myrtle Beach Pelicans' six-game winning [more]

Coastal's Schnall named among top D1 assistants

Coastal's Schnall named among top D1 assistantsCoastal Carolina associate head baseball coach Kevin Schnall was named [more]

From MB to Majors: 20th Anniversary Pelicans Team

From MB to Majors: 20th Anniversary Pelicans Team In 20 seasons of Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball, more than [more]

Pelicans shut out Woodies, return home on hot streak

Pelicans shut out Woodies, return home on hot streakAlex Lange fired five shutout innings and Yeiler Peguero added [more]

Local hoops team claims second crown this week

Local hoops team claims second crown this weekApparently one tournament championship this week wasn't enough for Big [more]

Mutiny enters playoffs on seven-game unbeaten run

Mutiny enters playoffs on seven-game unbeaten runThe South Atlantic champion Myrtle Beach Mutiny wrapped up the [more]

Pelicans ride long ball to fifth consecutive victory

Pelicans ride long ball to fifth consecutive victoryThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans blasted a season-best three home runs [more]

Hudson tosses Pelicans to fourth consecutive victory

Hudson tosses Pelicans to fourth consecutive victoryBryan Hudson was brilliant for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on [more]

MB's Vaugh runs the table, wins SC Junior Match Play

MB's Vaugh runs the table, wins SC Junior Match PlayDespite qualifying in the middle of the pack for this [more]

Pelicans slam door on Wood Ducks in opener

Pelicans slam door on Wood Ducks in openerWith the bases loaded and one out in the bottom [more]

Mutiny tops Tobacco Road to defend division crown

Mutiny tops Tobacco Road to defend division crownThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny had a golden opportunity to clinch [more]

Promoted ace Lacy makes strong debut for Pelicans

Promoted ace Lacy makes strong debut for PelicansRollie Lacy was brilliant on the hill in his Myrtle [more]

Strand team holds home court, wins national title

Strand team holds home court, wins national titleA basketball team made up predominately of Horry County players [more]

CCU's Chavers nets fourth Freshman All-American nod

CCU's Chavers nets fourth Freshman All-American nodCoastal Carolina centerfielder Parker Chavers was named second team Freshman [more]

Five local athletes qualify for National Junior Olympics

Five local athletes qualify for National Junior OlympicsFive members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Pelicans' batters break out wood on Woodstock Night

Pelicans' batters break out wood on Woodstock NightP.J. Higgins notched four hits, including a three-run home run, [more]

Pelicans open homestand with 3-1 loss to Mudcats

Pelicans open homestand with 3-1 loss to MudcatsThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 3-1 on Monday night in [more]

Pelicans lose four leads to fall in extras, return home

Pelicans lose four leads to fall in extras, return homeThe Buies Creek Astros tied the game four separate times [more]

Horry Post 111 opens run for AL state championship

Horry Post 111 opens run for AL state championshipHorry Post 111 will begin its quest for an American [more]

NFL's Henderson returns home for football camp

NFL's Henderson returns home for football campFormer Coastal Carolina football standout and current Denver Broncos running [more]

Wild finish halts Mutiny's season in regional semis

Wild finish halts Mutiny's season in regional semisThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny's season come to a close in [more]

Kelly is lone Chanticleer on All-Sun Belt preseason list

Kelly is lone Chanticleer on All-Sun Belt preseason listCoastal Carolina sophomore Silas Kelly was named preseason All-Sun Belt [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach