Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - Fire ants forced Hunter-Kinard-Tyler (HKT) High School to call an audible last week as they had to play their first home game of the season on the road.
Friday night lights is a tradition Jarqwese Clemons, a wide receiver for the school, lives for.
"This is the biggest field we've played on. It's my last time playing though so I'm trying to go all out against them. We are packed on our side. Everybody is yelling your name when you make a play. The atmosphere just feels amazing," said Clemons.
That atmosphere changed last week for H-K-T when something changed their gameplan.
"Fire ants were a distraction. That's what we would call it because it really threw us off. If we would have played our first home game, we would have probably beat Wagner," said Clemons.
Officials postponed the game because of there being too many fire ant hills on the field. They were forced to play on Saturday at Wagner-Salley.
Principal of the school, Dr. Mark Dean, says Hurricane Irma brought a lot of rain which helped bring ants to their football field. He says moving the game was the right call.
"The students haven't really had a home game yet you know. I don't take it lightly. Regardless of whether or not we wanted to play or money or those kinds of things, I don't put it past safety," said Dean.
HTK brought in a company to get rid of the bugs so they could host their own homecoming game Friday, September 22nd.
The principal said he was grateful for the understanding and support from the community for having to make a change last week. Dean is hopeful and confident they’ll be able to have homecoming on their home field.
"We're actually going to check out the field again at probably about five o'clock. Then we'll do one final look at it again at about 6:30 or so," said Dean.
If the officials say that the field is good condition, they’ll play their first home game Friday night.
As for the players, they're just ready to take their home turf.
“We're going to put on a show for everybody. Get our win. We got to do what we got to do. Got to execute and play all night until the end of the fourth quarter," said Clemons.
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