Beaufort County football jamboree canceled

ccox@islandpacket.comAugust 16, 2013 

Battery Creek and Hilton Head Island High School scrimmage during the last Beaufort County football jamboree, held in August 2011. The event was to return Aug. 16 to Bluffton High School after a one-year hiatus, but was canceled because of expected bad weather.

FILE — The Beaufort Gazette Buy Photo

The one-year hiatus for the Beaufort County School District scrimmage will get a little longer.

Friday night's jamboree was canceled for the second season in a row, as heavy rain and thunderstorms were expected to hit the area that evening. With six area schools in attendance for six quarters of football, the impending weather didn't make the event possible, Bluffton High athletics director Dave Adams said.

There are no plans to reschedule the scrimmage.

"We looked at four different radars," he said. "The lowest we saw was 60 percent chance of rain. ...We felt like to have six different groups of people over here would be a real tough venue if it started lightning and we had to clear bleachers."

The Bobcats' new football field wouldn't have taken kindly to the event either, Adams said. A conversation with the Bluffton High maintenance crew left the Bobcats AD concerned that bad weather and loads of football could have done significant damage before the season had even begun.

"Absolutely disappointed," coach Ken Cribb said. "It was going to be a great night. Get to see everybody in the county, and that (would have been) awesome."

Cribb said he was working to schedule an impromptu scrimmage in place of the jamboree. Hilton Head Island High coach B.J. Payne noted a similar plan, though neither coach had anything established Friday afternoon.

"We're trying to scramble now to figure out what we're going to do," Payne said. "We've got like six or seven guys who are out or banged up. Us doing just a half (of football) is OK. Us doing a two-and-a-half hour scirmmage is not going to be a good situation for us."

Bluffton would have continued preparations as usual for the event had it been a regular season game, Adams noted. But the sheer size of the event, which would have featured all five Beaufort County public schools and Ridgeland-Hardeeville, made that impossible.

"This is a big venue," he said. "If it had been a game we'd prepare for the game and it would have been a gametime decision. It being a jamboree, we just made the decision now."

The jamboree was not played in 2012 either, as Hilton Head High and Whale Branch Early College High School were barred from scrimmaging due to S.C. High School League violations. Battery Creek also couldn't participate due to a previous commitment.

Follow reporter Chris Cox at twitter.com/IPBG_Chris.

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