Rain put a damper on many Friday night football games across the Upstate, including a big game between Wade Hampton High School and Mauldin High. So much so, they had to move it to Monday.
Friday, the Wade Hampton High School athletic department struggled to decide whether or not to cancel the game. It’s a choice that goes beyond a wet field, focusing heavily on safety and money.
“We can’t control the weather, so we do what we can,” said WHHS Athletic Director, Reggie Choplin.
Juggling multiple phone calls and field assessments, it’s his job to decide if the Friday night lights have to be dimmed.
“The priority is always safety and we want our athletes and fans to enjoy it all, but we don’t want to put anyone in a situation where it’s unsafe,” said Choplin.
In this case, a leaky pipe created a squishy mess on the 30 yard line. The rain didn’t help. It could be slick situation for the players. It could also tear up the field if they played ball.
“We still have half the season left. Not only are varsity games played here, but we’ve also got C teams, J-V and D-Team football games,” explained Choplin.
It was a similar situation in high schools across the water logged Upstate, Friday. Cancelling or moving the game may seem like a no-brainer, especially if it’s just rain.
“Without lightening, I do think people expect Friday night is a high school football night,” said Greenville County Schools Athletic Director, Darryl Nance.
The truth is there’s a lot of moving parts according to Nance.
“When you’re a school building AD, you’re worried about finances. Again, [you think about] safety, the kids, and the schedule. There are bills to pay and when you cancel a game you’re talking about having to contact the booster club, the ticket takers, the ambulance providers, the security guards. There are so many things that go into making that one call,” Nance explained.
At Wade Hampton High, it’s spirit week. Classes raise money all week for charity and present the check at half time. Now, that’s getting moved, too.