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Once upon a time, football season was scheduled to begin this Friday night. Then along came a virus.

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The figuratively falling dominoes of college athletics landed flat at at Presbyterian College on Wednesday as officials announced, in conjunction with the Big South Conference, that fall sports have been suspended.

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High school football has already been a long slog, and the start of official fall practice just got pushed back again by the S.C. High School League.

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Just off U.S. Hwy. 76 (Laurens District High School), off S.C. 72 (Clinton High) and S.C. 49 (Laurens Academy), they’ll be tossing the old football around beginning on Monday.

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While Laurens County’s two public high schools cautiously prepare for fall sports in the time of COVID-19, the promise is less cloudy at Laurens Academy, where football is played eight at a time.

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In the imagination of William Shakespeare, Mark Antony said of Julius Caesar, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

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It was unseasonably cool when the Laurens Raiders got together on Monday morning to loosen up, study a little football and begin preparing as best they could for the fall.

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The gymnasium at Thornwell Charter School has a fresh smell about it, the kind that lingers after new coats of paint and a gleaming finish on the floor. Locker rooms have been renovated.

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When Laurens District High School takes to the football practice fields on Monday, the Raiders will look like a team that is making up for lost time.

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The resumption of scholastic and collegiate sports is a matter of when and, in the short run, if, but regardless of what happens, athletic trainers are going to be important.

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Senior Katie Thompson, a tennis standout at Presbyterian College, was awarded the Big South Conference's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence on Wednesday.

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Cory Hightower is leaving the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team and will transfer to Western Carolina University, where he will sit out the 2020-21 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

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The sun was out in mid-March. Clinton High School was opening defense of its Class 3A Upstate championship in boys’ tennis against Travelers Rest. The Red Devils and Devildogs were warmed up and ready.

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Following an established pattern of recent years, Laurens District High School promoted from within to select Aianna Kelly as its girls’ basketball coach, succeeding Yoneko Allen, who served seven seasons at the Raiders’ helm.

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The Presbyterian College men’s basketball team has lost several players to the NCAA’s transfer protocol in recent years. Head coach Quinton Ferrell has now benefited from that program by inducing Winston Hill, a former Irmo High standout, to transfer to PC from Division II Francis Marion.

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SPARTANBURG – Gregg Nibert won more basketball games than any head coach in Presbyterian College history. Now he is taking the reins at Spartanburg Day School, which became nationally known when Zion Williamson was playing there.

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Ruthie Moore, the perpetual-motion machine who helped lead Laurens Academy to consecutive SCISA state championships in girls’ basketball, adapted seamlessly to the college game in her freshman season.

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The first college football game I covered as a journalist was a home game at Presbyterian College, located only 50 miles from my house but a campus I had never visited.