Friday, November 24, 2017
Sports

Don't expect many high school football games this week

RECOMMENDED READING


Nearly every high school football game in Tampa Bay is postponed this week to give schools — and teams — more time recover from Hurricane Irma.

Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas public schools are closed through the weekend and will not have any athletic events scheduled until Monday at the earliest.

Private schools aren't bound to the same district guidelines as public schools, so the decision to play is made on an individual basis.

Some schools still are without power, and others are serving as shelters. There also are traffic lights out throughout the region. Those are concerns, especially with some games involving teams traveling to other counties to play.

"Right now we don't have any power and if there still isn't power by (Wednesday) morning then that will make our decision easier," Tampa Catholic athletic director Don Dziagwa said. "We need to give (our opponent) Crestview time to cancel hotel reservations, and our football team hasn't been able to practice. There are a lot of things to consider."

The lack of practice time is another problem for many schools.

"It was coming down to a safety issue in football," Hillsborough County athletic director Lanness Robinson said. "Teams would have had a day of practice before playing a game, and we didn't want to risk injury with so little time to prepare."

Robinson said he is meeting with administrators on Wednesday to figure out when games can be made up. More troubling for football is the start of district games, which are required to be completed by the Florida High School Athletic Association. The state governing body for high school sports also threw in one other potential wrinkle for schools: A team can add a game to replace a lost opponent, but it will not count toward playoff points. Only games on a team's original schedule will be counted toward playoff consideration.

One possibility for rescheduling this week's games is Monday. But that gives programs a short week to prepare for another game on Friday night (Sept. 22). The FHSAA did allow - for this week only - practices on Sunday if school districts okay them. Non-football teams have more flexibility in their schedules since they can play multiple games each week and on back-to-back nights.

"Football is different than other sports because these games have to be played (under the new FHSAA playoff system)," Robinson said. "With volleyball and some other sports, there are district tournaments or meets at the end of the season so not all of those games have to be made up.

"We're going to try our best to reschedule all of them, but the reality is some of these games will not be made up if they're not necessary."

The weather delays have left Largo wondering if it will ever have a home game this season. The rubber track and sod was recently installed at the Packers' field, part of the finishing touches on the school's $65 million renovation.

Trouble was, the project got off to a late start, pushing back the date when Largo could start hosting games. Packers coach Marcus Paschal said the plan was to have the first home game on Oct. 13. The sod needed 42 days to grow before the field would be playable according to Paschal. Hurricane Irma could push back that date.

"We're just keeping our fingers crossed that everything will go according to plan," Paschal said.

For Durant, there are bigger issues.

The school was still without power as of Tuesday afternoon. Worse, some roads were not accessible because of flooding along the Alafia River.

"We've had almost an entire two weeks without really stepping on a football field," Cougars coach Mike Gottman said. "It's all about safety, though. I know this is something that none of us have ever had to come across with storms, at least of this magnitude."

Comments
Bucs’ Will Gholston glad to return from ‘knee-buckling’ neck injury

Bucs’ Will Gholston glad to return from ‘knee-buckling’ neck injury

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston will make a healthy return Sunday in Atlanta after missing two games with a neck injury, and he's thankful and relieved not to have to deal with anything more severe."It was knee-buckling," Gholston said. "I was stand...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lightning recall Cory Conacher from Syracuse

The Lightning recalled forward Cory Conacher from AHL Syracuse Friday for tonight's game against the Capitals.GM Steve Yzerman said that with a couple players dealing with minor injuries, Conacher's callup provides some depth so that the team could a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Falcons: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

The Bucs face the defending NFC champion in its new home Sunday in Atlanta.Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:MATTY ICE-FOLLIESRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: T...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

GAINESVILLE — If misery loves company, at least the Gators and Seminoles have each other. That’s about the only positive in the least appealing Florida-Florida State showdown in decades. Both enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at 4-6 —...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Round 3 playoff predictions

Round 3 playoff predictions

Region finalsClass 7ANo. 3 Plant (11-1) at No. 1 Lakeland (10-0)Rodney Page: Lakeland 23-21. Probably the best playoff matchup of the six area games remaining. The Panthers narrowly escaped last week and playing at perennial power Lakeland might be t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bulls-Knights: 4 final thoughts

Bulls-Knights: 4 final thoughts

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving Day is peaceful, pleasant and calorific. Here's hoping you also leave a little room to digest these final four USF-UCF thoughts before the "War on I-4" kicks off.1. The strength-versus-strength subplots in this game ar...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMissouri vs. St. John’s11 a.m.ESPNewsArkansas State at USFnoon820-AMVillanova vs. Northern IowanoonESPN2Wooden Legacy: St. Mary’s (Calif.) vs. Washington State1:30 p.m.ESPNewsTennessee vs. N.C. State2:30 p.m.ESPN2PK80: Portland...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Ugly injury sidelines Mississippi State QB

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald sustained a gruesome right ankle injury in the first quarter that forced him to leave Thursday’s game against Mississippi. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fitzgerald was running the ball when ...
Published: 11/23/17

Sports in brief

SoccerStudy to look into soccer players and brain disease LONDON — A major study into whether soccer players are at risk of degenerative brain disease was commissioned Thursday amid concerns that the sport’s authorities in England haven’t done enough...
Published: 11/23/17

Captain’s Corner: Switching to bottom fishing for grouper, snapper

With water temperatures falling, offshore anglers soon will have less species to target. Migratory species such as cobia, kingfish and Spanish mackerel will be migrating south for the winter. Most offshore captains will switch to bottom fishing for g...
Published: 11/23/17