TAMPA — By no means is it the end of the world, but today's expected arrival of Tropical Storm Fay in the Tampa Bay area is a major inconvenience for Hillsborough County football programs and, quite frankly, is giving coaches a collective headache.
"This throws our whole schedule off," Tampa Bay Tech coach C.C. Culpepper said.
Monday afternoon, Hillsborough County schools announced they would be closed today, and also canceled all sports practices.
Lanness Robinson, the county's athletic director, anticipated today's closing.
"We were just waiting and seeing what was going to happen," Robinson said. "The EOCs (Emergency Operations Centers) made the recommendations to schools since a lot of schools serve as shelters."
Plant coach Robert Weiner, however, said he "wasn't stressing that much" about losing a practice day.
"No one wants to lose practice," Weiner said after Monday's practice. "Practice is our lifeline. We're a team that gets better and better every moment. But the bottom line is we had a tremendous first week. We really logged some hours, so to be honest, I beat them up so much the first week that they could probably use one more day off."
At Durant, the cancellation is a significant setback. The Cougars, still in the process of adding pieces to their offensive and defensive packages, need every possible bit of on-field time.
"This backs us up another day, maybe two days, depending on what this thing is going to do," Durant coach Mike Gottman said. "When we're installing, when we're done with what we need to do, we move on. But right now we've still got things we want to put in the package."
It was the same for TBT.
"Everything, whether it's seven-on-seven, a preseason game or a practice, is important for us because we're trying to build," Culpepper said.