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East Clarendon happy to be back in 1A

By DENNIS BRUNSON dennis@theitem.com
Posted 5/15/20

Up until two years ago, East Clarendon High School had always competed in the 1A classification in athletics from the time it was put in place. Then ECHS got bumped up to 2A.

That was just for a short stay though. In the recent South Carolina …

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East Clarendon happy to be back in 1A

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Up until two years ago, East Clarendon High School had always competed in the 1A classification in athletics from the time it was put in place. Then ECHS got bumped up to 2A.

That was just for a short stay though. In the recent South Carolina High School League realignment for the 2020-21 and '21-22 school years, East Clarendon is back down at 1A.

"I knew all along we were on the borderline," said EC athletic director and head football coach Scott Cook. "We were going to be one of the bigger 1A schools or one of the smaller 2A schools. I knew we were close to it. We were right at the top of the 1A numbers.

"One day I was expecting 2A, one day I was expecting 1A. Just talking to different people didn't know which way it was going to go. I did know in the back of my mind they were wanting to even out the (1A) regions football-wise. Because of that, I knew we had a good chance of going back to 1A."

As part of the realignment, the SCHSL wanted to get more schools at the 1A level. ECHS is now part of Region IV along with Carvers Bay, C.E. Murray, Hemingway and fellow Clarendon County school Scott's Branch.

"We're excited to be back in 1A because when you think of East Clarendon you think of 1A sports," Cook said. "I think it will be a competitive region for us."

Like East Clarendon, Carvers Bay dropped from 2A to 1A. The schools were both members of Region VII-2A the last two years along with Andrews, Hannah-Pamplico, Kingstree, Latta, Mullins and Johnsonville.

Cook thinks the time in 2A will help East Clarendon in its return to 1A.

"A lot of supporters thought it was going to be tough on us," Cook said. "It was different, but I felt we held our own ground. Last year, we won four or five region championships. This year, we were second in both boys and girls basketball and third in football.

"I think the most important part about playing at 2A is we competed in it," he added. "And that's where the mindset comes in."

As far as football goes, East Clarendon had one of its best seasons in years, going 7-5 overall and 5-2 in region play. By the time EC gets to its region schedule it should be well prepared thanks to its non-region schedule.

EC will open the season on Aug. 21 against 2-time defending 1A state champion Green Sea-Floyds and follow it up with a home game against 3A Lake City. It will also face 1A power Lake View, former Region VII-2A foes Mullins and Hannah-Pamplico and 2A North Central.

EAST CLARENDON HIGH SCHOOL

OUT WITH THE OLD

Region VII-2A: Andrews, Carvers Bay, Hannah-Pamplico, Johnsonville, Kingstree, Latta, Mullins.

IN WITH THE NEW

Region V-1A: C.E. Murray, Carvers Bay, Hemingway, Scott's Branch

2020 SCHEDULE

Aug. 21 Green Sea-Floyds

Aug. 28 Lake City

Sept. 4 at Lake View

Sept. 11 Mullins

Sept. 18 at North Central

Sept. 25 at Hannah-Pamplico

Oct. 2 at Scott's Branch

Oct. 16 Carvers Bay

Oct. 23 Hemingway

Oct. 30 at C.E. Murray