LAKE CITY, S.C. —– It was inevitable that area football teams would have to deal with ever-changing circumstances in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Carolina Academy has had to deal with more than most.
The Bobcats have played just two games this season, and if everything goes smoothly the rest of the way, they’ll finish having played just six total.
That’s not a given considering how things have gone since the start of the year. CA had to cancel its season opener against Northwood Academy following a false-positive test by one of the Bobcats’ players.
Coach T.J. Joye’s squad managed to get back-to-back games in following that, but the 57-13 thumping of Spartanburg Christian on Sept. 11 was the last time it took the field for a competitive contest.
The game against The King’s Academy was called off due to COVID concerns as well, and last week’s matchup against Dillon Christian had to be canceled for weather-related problems.
“It wasn’t anybody’s fault; just bad weather,” Joye said. “It flooded. That’s just the way it is. Nothing you can do about it.”
The same could be said for this week as the Bobcats have an impromptu bye since Oakbrook Prep does not have a team now, Joye said.
“We have Lee Academy next week and end with four straight games, so I hope we’ll be able to get six games in this season,” he added.
Luckily, none of the missed games have been region contests. Carolina Academy sits at 2-0 and 1-0 in SCISA Region 2-2A with big matchups upcoming against Florence Christian (Oct. 16), Williamsburg Academy (Oct. 23) and Pee Dee Academy (Oct. 30).
In the meantime, Joye said, his squad has persevered despite what will be nearly a month-long layoff from competition by next Friday.
“We’ve practiced hard and we continue to do that,” he said. “They’ve responded well. They’ve really surprised me the way they’ve handled themselves and the situation. They’re working hard and they just want to play.”
Joye said the main focus has been keeping the team in shape as best they can throughout the past few weeks.
“We’re hitting and doing the things we’ve been doing to keep them in shape,” he said. “We’re continuing that journey. We’ve had a good, hard week of practice. Frustration is there I’m sure, but you’ve just got to keep your head and move on.
“Who knows what tomorrow holds.”
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