Imagine having to choose between your senior prom and playing in a state championship game.
That was the case for the Buford High Girls softball team Friday night because the South Carolina High School League refused to schedule the game on a different day -- despite pleas from both schools’ superintendents.
Parents of those students are furious, the girls are heartbroken and the story is resonating nationwide.
The championship game was rained out Thursday night in Spartanburg. State league rules dictate makeup games must be played within 24 hours -- with no leniency. Buford’s prom was also Friday night, so the girls had to make the choice.
“Landrum was OK with putting it off to Saturday morning, because as you see tonight‘s our prom,” said parent Karen Dingler
But district leaders said the state high school league refused -- saying they can’t make any exceptions to the rules.
“I do believe in rules, but I also believe we should govern with common sense,” Dingler said.
So the senior girls had to choose.
“It’s just an impossible choice,” Dingler said.
Half chose the game; half chose prom.
Halfway through the night, those at the dance received bad news. The team lost 15 to 0.
“They were just wrung out from an emotional night of hoping that it would be changed,” Dingler said.
The girls who chose the dance broke into tears and said they were too devastated to go on camera.
“This is their time, and it’s just so sad for those girls,” Dingler said.
The state league never responded to our numerous requests for comment. However, the girls' parents aren't stopping until they get answers and a change in policy on the state level.
“What is more precious your rules or the students that you’re here to serve?” said Dingler.
Here's some good news. Buford’s principal said she got a call from Lancaster High School -- inviting all the girls and their dates to come to their prom Saturday night.