Northside, Southside adjust football schedules

Published 9:00 am Saturday, June 10, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

Two schools in Martin County will be combining athletics this upcoming fall. While not merging both student bodies, Riverside and South Creek will play as one team next season. They will play under the name Martin and uniform colors will be a mixture of both schools colors.

Superintendent of Martin County Schools, Michelle White, said the decision stemmed from South Creek not having enough students to field teams. “For years, students in the South Creek district have not had consistent opportunities in athletics. Joining forces will allow every student the opportunity to take part in every sport offered,” White said.

This merger impacts the Panthers and Seahawks football schedules. Both teams played Riverside and South Creek last season and had them on the schedule for the fall season.

For Northside, they lost to Riverside 40-28 and beat South Creek 49-0. According to head football coach Keith Boyd, they will still play the Riverside game which is now Martin while the South Creek game will be replaced with Bear Grass. Bear Grass went 5-6 last season so it will be a potentially harder game than South Creek which went 0-11.

Southside beat South Creek 33-8 and lost to Riverside 23-20. Next season they will play Martin and replace the South Creek game. Athletic director Andrea Quinerly said they replaced the game with Gates County. “The original South Creek game was scheduled for Week Three. We moved the Gates County game to Week Five which was our original open week so now Week Three will be our open week,” Quinerly said. Gates County finished 6-5 last season.

According to North Carolina High School Athletic Association spokesman Brandon Moree, Martin will move up from 1A into 2A with the merge because of the increase in student population. The four classes are determined by the size of the school and Martin now meets the classifications for 2A. They will remain in the same conference with the same 1A teams as before. For playoffs, they will play against 2A schools.

There has been occasional talk of Northside and Southside doing something similar but Keith Boyd said this will never happen. “Both schools are far away from each other because of the river. Nobody will want to cross the river to get their kids to school. I don’t see this ever happening in this county,” Boyd said.