By Thomas Grant Jr.
The ongoing renovations to Cecil Woolbright Field Stadium have forced Chapin High School to move its Aun and McKay Kickoff Classic.
The preseason scrimmage involving six schools will now take place at Fairfield Central High School in Winnsboro.
The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and will feature the following matchups:
-Chapin vs. Gray Collegiate 6:30 p.m.
-Irmo vs. Gray Collegiate 7 p.m.
-Irmo vs. Newberry 7:30 p.m.
-Spring Valley vs. Newberry 8 p.m.
-Spring Valley vs. Mid-Carolina 8:30 p.m.
-Fairfield Central vs. Mid-Carolina 9 p.m.
– Fairfield Central vs. Chapin 9:30 p.m.
All seven scrimmages will be played in 12-minute quarters with one timeout.
The decision to move the Classic was made by school officials as delays due to weather and unforeseen utility issues which required rewiring and replumbing have pushed the completion date from January to February 2024.
At Monday’s Lexington-Richland District Five meeting, David Weissman, the Lexington-Richland District Five Executive Director of Operations, provided a progress report.
When construction began in May, these were the projected plans:
• Increase seating capacity to approximately 6,500 seats in accordance with South Carolina High School League Class 5A standards.
• Replacement of the home press box
• Installation of a new concession and restroom facility
• New entry plaza on the north side of the stadium
• Parking improvements to the gravel parking lot
• New stadium field lighting
• Replacement of the turf field
Budget adjustments resulted in reducing the expanded seating capacity to more than 5,500 seats. In addition, the concession and restroom facilities will now be moved under the press box.
Despite the delay, Weissman said the project is only 30 days behind. They have installed the new seating on the visitor’s side minus the handrails and have begun the vertical work on the new press box.
A walkthrough is planned for Friday with the Office of School Facilities, the Fire Marshall, Third Party Inspector and Safety Team getting together with the football team to determine if the stadium will meet the requirements to be available for the regular season.
While Weissman remained optimistic, he told the board a “backup” plan is in place for the Aug. 18 opener against Irmo High School to take place at W.C. Hawkins Stadium. This will depend upon receiving approval from OSF and addressing home seating issues as part of the construction.
A Jamboree will take place in Lexington County this week. The annual Lexington Sportsarama is scheduled for Friday at River Bluff High School:
– Pelion vs. Airport 6 p.m.
– Gilbert vs. White Knoll 7 p.m.
– River Bluff vs. Lexington 8 p.m.
Each scrimmage will be two, 20-minute quarters with a running clock.