The Northwood Academy Chargers open practice for the new football season on Aug. 3.
Northwood coach Ryan Leaver’s team is locked in and ready for those first drills and days in the heat.
“We are looking forward to the season coming,” Leaver said. “I’m sure the public schools are feeling that way right now, too. Everybody is looking for some light at the end of the tunnel, a green light that says you can get started. We were fortunately given that green light the other day.”
SCISA released its road map for return to sports on July 22.
Leaver’s squad has to replace 11 seniors off last year’s team. Even though summer work was unique due to COVID-19 concerns, the Chargers were productive in the weight room and on the field. Social distancing guidelines mandated teams gather in smaller groups. That worked out well for Northwood Academy.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of young guys to get ready,” Leaver said. “Being that we had to do smaller groups, we were able to get these guys the personal attention they needed to help this program grow.”
Northwood will have 20-plus varsity players this season. The Chargers were 3-7 a year ago.
SCISA football teams start practice in helmets and add shoulder pads on Aug. 10 before going to full pads on Aug. 17.
A major change to SCISA’s preseason football calendar will be the absence of scrimmages and jamborees, a move aimed at minimizing exposure to COVID-19. Week 0 games were also wiped out, meaning the Chargers won’t go to Florence Christian on Aug. 21.
They now open the regular season at Carolina Academy on Aug. 28.
“I’m sure most SCISA schools are the same,” Leaver said. “It’s hard to give yourself a good look, sharpen those skills and see where you are by losing those scrimmages but we’re all in the same boat. Everybody knows what’s going on right now. Everybody is on board with a team-first attitude. We’re going to do what we’ve got to do.”
With the South Carolina High School League shortening its regular season to seven games or moving the season to the spring, Northwood has replaced a road game Sept. 24 at Academic Magnet with a home game versus Spartanburg Christian on Sept. 25.
The schedule is below. Four of Northwood’s five Region 1-AA games are at home.
2020 Football Schedule
Date – Opponent – (2019 Record)
Aug. 28 – at Carolina Academy (9-3)
Sept. 4 – Colleton Prep (6-5)
Sept. 11 – Hilton Head Christian (11-2)
Sept. 18 – Beaufort Academy (4-6, 8-man)
Sept. 25 – vs. Spartanburg Christian (3-7)
Oct. 2 – OPEN
Oct. 9 – John Paul II (0-9)
Oct. 16 – Hilton Head Prep (4-7)
Oct. 23 – at Orangeburg Prep (8-3)
Oct. 30 – at Pinewood Prep (0-10)