Beaufort Today -

SCHSL proposes 2018 realignment

  • Archived photo - Bluffton’s Ashby Cribb tries to get away from Beaufort’s Kamren Spann in the 2016 Broad River Bowl, which Bluffton won 35-14.

The South Carolina High School League released a reclassification proposal last week that would take effect in 2018.

Battery Creek, Beaufort and Whale Branch would all stay put in their current classifications under the proposal, but they are slated to be in slightly reshuffled regions.

Whale Branch, currently in Region 6-AA, would move to Region 5-AA along with current counterpart Woodland. The teams would join Allendale Fairfax, Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Barnwell in Region 5.

Battery Creek would move from Region 8-AAA to Region 7-AAA. May River, Ridgeland-Hardeeville and Wade Hampton would remain in the Dolphins’ region and Lake Marion would join them in place of Bluffton.

Bluffton would move to Region 7-AAAA with Beaufort, Hilton Head, Stall and Berkeley. That would set up a higher-stakes version of the rivalry between Bluffton and Beaufort, including football’s Broad River Bowl.

The cross-county rivals play annually, but the last time they met on the gridiron in a region game was in 2013, a 35-27 Eagle victory.

Beaufort athletic director Lync Lyles said he was a little disappointed to see Colleton County depart the region and moving from a six- to a five-team region will bring some scheduling challenges. But, he said, the addition of Bluffton alone makes the proposed reclassification favorable in his eyes.

“With Bluffton moving, we like (the proposal),” he said. “Now it means something. When we were non-regional rivals, it was a rivalry only. Now, it means something for the playoffs. I think it adds to the excitement having close regional opponents like that.”

All SCHSL schools can appeal the proposal by the end of the month.