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Would a bubble work for high school football in SC?

Amondre Johnson

Waccamaw High School head football coach Amondre Johnson addresses his team when he was first hired as head coach back in March. Danny Kelly/Staff

The NHL and NBA have both implemented the use of bubbles to isolate their players from the general public in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The NHL has two, one in Toronto and one in Edmonton; and the NBA has one in Orlando.

So far, both leagues have had no positive cases.

But would this method work with high school football, where there are more players on most teams and less revenue available?

Well, Orange County Public Schools in Florida is trying this out. The school district is separating its players from the rest of the student body with virtual learning either at home or in a separate area of the school.

So, one might think, is this feasible in South Carolina?

“I haven’t seen what Florida has, so I don’t think there’s a generic definition what all is included in instituting a bubble,” South Carolina High School League Commissioner Jerome Singleton said. “I haven’t seen that plan to even be able to talk intelligently about that, but at this time we have not looked at any opportunity of where there is some type of bubble.”

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In the NBA and NHL bubble, fans are not allowed to attend, and Singleton pointed out schools can restrict fans from attending games if they so choose to limit the spread of coronavirus.

“We don’t require our schools to allow fans to attend,” he said. “They make that decision themselves if they choose to allow fans to attend. So, the limitation on whatever the bubble is, again, I can’t speak to the one…in Florida…because I don’t have any idea what theirs entails.”

The SCHSL allowed teams to begin full-blown practices on Sept. 8. Scrimmages began on Saturday and games will kick off Sept. 25.

Waccamaw High School has its first scrimmage on Friday against Lake View after having a joint practice with Hemingway earlier in the week. Like Singleton, first-year Warriors head coach Amondre Johnson had also not heard about the use of a high school football bubble in Florida.

“I’m not sure, it’s difficult,” Johnson said on if he thought I bubble would work in South Carolina. “I would have to see the ins and outs and details of it. But I like the idea to keep football going.”

Johnson is hesitant about the plan because he would be worried about players staying separated from the rest of the student body.

“With kids being kids, it’s social nature,” he said. “But I would like to find out more about that (the Orange County bubble) and see how they do it.”

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