We hope this communication finds your family doing well in our current situation. We are reaching out to let you know about a transition in the way we offer athletics for our 7 through 12 grade students in Dorchester School District Two. Because of organizational changes in our neighboring school districts’ sports programs, it has become necessary to examine and reflect on our district’s athletic programs.
As we examined and reflected on our athletic programs, we focused on key areas of S.C. High School League (SCHSL) regulations, safety issues, and overall athletic facilities. Berkeley and Charleston Counties have decided to allow only 7th and 8th grade students to play on their B-Team football teams. The rules of the SCHSL will not allow us to field our traditional 7th, 8th, and 9th grade B-Teams against other B-Teams that are comprised of just 7th and 8th graders. This rule is in place out of an abundance of caution for the safety of student-athletes in football programs. Moving forward, Ashley Ridge, Fort Dorchester, and Summerville High Schools will now be fielding B-Team football teams comprised of 7th and 8th graders. This program change will eliminate the current middle school football league. In order to ensure young athletes have other opportunities to be involved in a football program, we have talked with local youth football programs. Those programs are prepared to work with student-athletes not wishing to play at the B-Team level.
With student safety a priority, we have reviewed the middle school baseball and softball programs’ access to athletic trainers and adequate facilities. Our current middle school football teams have been operating in an environment without athletic trainers or the most up-to-date equipment and with a limited number of practice facilities. The six middle schools have been sharing three fields spread across the district for both softball and baseball. The conditions of these facilities does not meet the standards of the district’s vision of being world class. With agreement from all three high school baseball and softball coaches, the middle school softball and baseball programs will be absorbed into the high school programs. This change will provide students involved in either sport with access to improved, safer facilities and better instruction in their particular sport.
A close examination of the indoor sports currently offered at the middle school level revealed well-maintained facilities that were easily manageable by current middle school staff, including coaches. As a result, the decision has been made that Volleyball, Boys and Girls Basketball, and Wrestling will remain as they are currently structured.
The restructuring of any program is always difficult. The decisions outlined in this letter were reached after years of discussion and months of research in our efforts to provide quality athletic programs for students. All change generates different feelings and questions. We think it is important to allow opportunities for parents/guardians to share their thoughts and to ask questions. The Athletic Directors of Ashley Ridge, Fort Dorchester, and Summerville High Schools will be available at your child’s middle school in the coming weeks. Obviously, the restrictions on holding gatherings in public places will determine when, where, and for how long these meetings can be held. You will receive communication from your current middle school on the time and date for these meetings.
Ashley Ridge HS
Fort Dorchester HS