FLORENCE, S.C. -- This year's 84th annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, scheduled for Dec. 19 at Wofford College's Gibbs Stadium, will not be played because of the COVID-19 pandemic, per the Shrine Bowl Board of Governors. The Shrine Bowl teams for South Carolina and North Carolina, however, will still be picked so those that deserve the honor of being on these teams can still be honored.
"We are learning that with the current circumstances and the monumental efforts that it will take to meet the challenges of COVID-19 in which we are now faced, are those that cannot hardly be achieved by us at this time," Shrine Bowl game chairman Ronnie Blount stated in a press release. "In short, if we are not able to produce a great quality game as we have done the past 83 years and provide the best game possible for our sponsors, players, coaches and patrons, then we should not play the game this year.”
As for the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, set for Dec. 12 at Myrtle Beach High School's Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, that game is still scheduled for that day, time and place, according to Shell Dula, executive director of the South Carolina Coaches Association.
Although Wilson football coach Derek Howard is disappointed there will be no Shrine Bowl game, he's happy players still can be honored.
"They'll miss having the opportunity to go to those Shrine Bowl practices, but being selected for that honor would be huge as it would name them as among the top players in the state, and we feel we have a couple of players who are worthy for that team," Howard said. "So, for any player who can be selected to the Shrine Bowl, that would be something to be proud of. We look forward to having the opportunity to nominate a couple of our players, and maybe that can help with their recruiting and help them get into the college of their choice."
The next Shrine Bowl will be Dec. 18, 2021 at Gibbs Stadium.
But count South Florence football coach Drew Marlowe among those saddened there will be no game in 2020.
"It's disappointing, I always thought the Shrine Bowl was a great tradition in this state for a long time," Marlowe said. "It's always an honor to play in it. It's still an honor to be selected, without question. But it's still disappointing they can't play the game."