1216 Cortney Jackson 2

Abbeville running back Cortney Jackson runs the ball during the 2018 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg.

The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, a high school all-star game with pits the top players of South Carolina against top players of North Carolina, will not be played this season, the event’s Board of Governors decided Thursday after a meeting.

Chairman Ronnie Blount delivered the board’s conclusion about the game’s viability amid the coronavirus pandemic. The board unanimously voted to suspend the game.

“Since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic, the Shrine Bowl athletic department and medical staff have been doing their due diligence in trying to prepare for the 84th Shrine Bowl Game. The staff has been trying to glean every piece of information from the North and South Carolina governing bodies possible. Everything from player selection, housing, transportation and food services for our players, coaches and athletic staff and medical personnel.

“We are learning that with the current circumstances and the monumental efforts that it will take to meet the challenges of COVID-19 in which we are now faced, are those that cannot hardly be achieved by us at this time. In short, if we are not able to produce a great quality game as we have done the past 83 years and provide the best game possible for our sponsors, players, coaches and patrons, then we should not play the game this year.”

The 2020 Shrine Bowl game had been schedule for Dec. 19 at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg.

Blount said Shrine Bowl teams comprising 44 players from each state and coaching staffs will still be selected after the football season.

“This will give our graduating seniors and opportunity to have been selected to play in the Shrine Bowl, and, as a Shrine Bowl Selectee, add this honor to their list of achievements for their high school career,” Blount said.

This year will mark the first time the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas has not been played since 1937. The game is the oldest high school all-star game in the nation.

The board set the date for next year’s Shrine Bowl, which will be Dec. 18, 2021.

Contact sports writer Skylar Rolstad at 864-223-1813 or follow him on Twitter @SkyRolSports.