Dustin Williams is playing a waiting game.
The affable Philip Simmons High School girls basketball coach is waiting for a family addition. He and his wife, Stephanie, are expecting their first child any day. In the meantime, one of Williams’ assistant coaches is directing practice while he practices social distancing.
Williams is also waiting for the season to resume after the holiday break. That could be an even longer wait because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the United States – and the world.
The Iron Horses are 2-1 on the young season and were scheduled to open Region 6-AA play on Jan. 5 when they were set to host a Burke team that has opened the season with two victories in three games. Three days later, the Iron Horses were scheduled to play Burke again.
But that schedule and the rest of the 2020-21 season might be in jeopardy.
“We’re kind of in a hiatus until at least Jan. 8,” Williams said. “The school was hit by the virus, and the school postponed activities. Officials and coaches (from Region 6-AA) are scheduled to meet Jan. 4 and discuss the future schedule. Right now, it looks like our games against Burke will be played at the end of the (regular) season.”
The Iron Horses have a pair of games scheduled the following week against Woodland that could be postponed or canceled, depending on the course of the pandemic.
“Äs for us, we are going to let the administration handle the situation,” Williams said. “We’re going to be on the safe side when we deal with this. We are on the same page.”
One of the things that casts doubt on the Region 6-AA schedule is that there are six teams in the region and five school districts are involved, each with their own protocol for handling the pandemic: Charleston County (Burke), Berkeley County (Philip Simmons and Timberland), Dorchester District IV (Woodland) and Jasper County (Ridgeville-Hardeeville) and Orangeburg County (Lake Marion).
Ridgeville-Hardeeville already opted out at the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
“We just have to take it day-by-day, game-by-game,” Williams said.
The Iron Horse girls were unstoppable in their first two games.They annihilated Hanahan 71-8 in the season-opener and followed that up with a 69-28 clocking of first-year high school Lucy Beckham.
But the Iron Horses couldn’t get past Military Magnet, dropping a 52-42 decision as Military Magnet outscored the Iron Horses 30-17 in the second half.
“That was a good early season test,” Williams said. “We are coming off a loss and know what needs to be worked on: the small things that make a big difference against a quality opponent.”
Sophomore captain Kylee Kellermann leads the team in scoring with 15 points. She also has 5.7 assists and 4.7 steals per game.
Classmate and team captain Kennedy Rivers is averaging nearly 14 points per game. She’s also averaged 4 rebounds and 3.7 steals per contest.