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Storm mostly hurts schedules

Structurally speaking, the effect on county athletics was minimal after Jeanne ripped through the area on Sunday.

The scoreboard at Gulf's softball field leaned left. A goalpost at River Ridge's football practice field tilted right. The scoreboard at Land O'Lakes' Gator Stadium bent backward.

But with classes canceled for a second day today because of power outages at schools, athletic directors won't know until at least Wednesday the full extent to which schedules already scrambled by Charley, Frances and Ivan will be interrupted.

"It's getting kind of tough, because it's not the first one," Gulf athletic director Paul Girardi said. "Everything has been changed several times, it gets to be a headache. We won't be able to (reschedule events) until we get back to school."

Girardi didn't have to look farther than Gulf's football stadium for reminders of how storms wreaked havoc the past few weeks. Power was out, and the scoreboard Frances ripped down little more than two weeks earlier rested on a flatbed trailer.

"It's really been a strange year," he said. "Really unusual."

The facilities at Hudson appeared in good shape, but that didn't mean the Cobras weren't dealing with hurricane damage of their own. A couple of trees were down in the parking lot, and athletic director and volleyball coach Linda McQuade spent part of Monday repairing shingles, fencing and the fascia on her home.

At nearby Veterans Memorial Park, water separated the beach volleyball court from the baseball field and flooded a soccer practice field and outdoor basketball court.

East-side schools survived the storm with few problems. At Pasco, the only signs of Jeanne's presence were torn banners on the chain-link fence surrounding the football field.

Wesley Chapel athletic director Annie McGhee said the school avoided structural damage and had power on Monday.

"We're in pretty good shape," McGhee said. "About the only thing we have to do is reschedule a few sporting events.

Coaches made the most of the extra time on their hands. Land O'Lakes and Mitchell practiced Monday and plan to again today.

"We're fortunate enough to be able to do that," Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz said. "You hate to disrupt the normal schedule. You do what you can do."

_ Times staff writers Bob Putnam and Steve Lee contributed to this report.