As far as guests go, Hurricane Matthew has been as unpleasant as they come.
The storm wreaked havoc on the southeast Georgia coast, costing residents power, access to food and even more devastating — their homes. While life has finally starting to round back into some normalcy for Bulloch County, Chatham County is a different story.
Chatham County’s schools have been closed until Oct. 17 to allow people time to go back to their homes and recover from the traumatic storm. Because so many schools in Savannah and Chatham County are grouped in regions with schools from Bulloch County — the sports schedule is now wrecked too.
Since Wednesday of last week games from all sports have moved back from Friday, to Tuesday and now many of them not happening at all. Football schedules have been turned on their heads, now made especially complicated by the fact region games can’t be flat-out canceled.
The region volleyball tournaments, which were supposed to happen Monday, are now in limbo and may not be played at all. Not much is certain, and a lot of games are still in the air. For the lack of a better comparison, the high school sports schedule are as scattered and thrown around as the sand on Tybee Island.
For now, the situations for every school will be laid out as follows:
Bulloch Academy is the only team that has a schedule set in stone this week. With the softball team’s season done and no volleyball team — football’s been the only sport affected by the hurricane.
Last week saw the Gators pushed back to Wednesday, where they found a way to pull an 8-7 win out of the short week against a then-undefeated Frederica Academy. As ugly as the game came out, it without a doubt worked out in favor of BA as they are now in the driver’s seat for a region championship.
BA’s game with Trinity Dublin is now scheduled for Saturday at 7:00 p.m. instead of Friday at 7:30 p.m. With Trinity losing to Pinewood 21-14 on Monday, the Crusaders will be playing on a short week while BA is fresh on over a week’s rest.
“We’re going to be off schedule, which I normally don’t like but after last week I feel like it works,” said head coach Terrence Hennessey. “I feel bad for Trinity having to play two games in a week, but I think this was the right decision.”
For Portal’s softball team, nothing changes for the Lady Panthers as far as scheduling goes. They will travel to Hawkinsville tomorrow to play a doubleheader, time TBA. Despite their tournament being cut short last week, Portal stayed ranked 17th in the class A public power ratings.
Portal missed hosting a playoff game by .42 points — but according to the math of the class A power ratings system, a loss to Emanuel County Institute last week would have dropped Portal’s rating from 10.42 to 10.23 and keeping them 17th. Keep in mind 16th was the cut-off to host.
Portal did lose to ECI 12-0 on Sept. 24, but if Portal had found a way to win their rating would have jumped to 11.01 and 15th. Then again, the Panthers still would have had to play Calvary Day again and twice to win the championship.
With just a loss to Calvary Day, Portal would have been set at 10.74 and still only good enough for 17th. But, had they split with Calvary Day Portal’s rating would be 11.03 and good for 15th. With a sweep of Calvary Day, Portal would have jumped to 11.56 but still only good enough for 15th.
Considering Portal was 0-2 on the season against Calvary Day, the aforementioned scenarios are all hypothetical drivel. But as it goes in sports, nothing is worse than a “what-if” lurking in the back of a team’s mind.
As for Portal’s football team, their game against McIntosh County Academy is canceled today due to the harsh conditions suffered in McIntosh County. As for the makeup of that game and the fate of Friday’s game against Calvary Day, the coaches in region 3-A will meet tomorrow morning to make a final decision.
Follow the Herald’s prep sports Twitter account @SHPrepsports for live updates on all county schedule news.
Southeast Bulloch’s football team will also not play tonight. Their game against Johnson will be made up at a later date and they will play Savannah High School on Friday at the regularly scheduled time of 7:30 p.m. in Brooklet.
As for the volleyball team, the picture isn’t so clear. GHSA has moved back playoff dates to account for Chatham County closings, but as of right now no decision has been made on whether or not the area 2-3A tournament will be played or not. According to SEB athletic director Jack Webb, there is no set timetable for a decision the matter.
If and when area 2-3A decides to forgo their region tournament, SEB would be the two-seed and host area 8-3A’s Jackson County (15-14) in the first round of the state playoffs. But that’s
only if the area tournament is cancelled. Follow @SHPrepsports on Twitter for updates on this development.
SEB’s softball team is the only Yellow Jacket team unaffected by the storms. Their first round playoff game against Monroe High School is still scheduled tomorrow as a doubleheader, with the first game set to start at 4:00 and the second game to start at 6:00 p.m.
Last but not least, Statesboro’s football game against New Hampstead has been moved to a later date as well. As of presstime last night, Statesboro is still scheduled to travel to Ware County Friday night to play at 7:30 p.m.
As for their makeup with New Hampstead and the rest of their schedule, Statesboro athletic director Chad Prosser said a meeting at 8:30 this morning should be able to work out all the kinks.
“With me being the secretary of the region, it’s my job to organize the meeting and get everyone’s input,” Prosser said. “What may be right for one school may not be right for the other. So today we’re going to meet and we’re not going to leave until everything is worked out for certain.”
As for the volleyball team, their area tournament’s fate will be decided at the same meeting. GHSA has moved back the first round of the state playoffs from tomorrow to Oct. 18 and the second round has been moved to Oct. 20. If the tournament gets cancelled, the current standings will determine the seeds — meaning Statesboro would sneak into the playoffs as a two-seed and host area 8-5A’s Clarke Central (9-19) in the first round.
“With Statesboro winning a tiebreaker with Ware County for the two-seed, I would understand if teams were upset if we didn’t play a tournament,” Prosser said. “But since New Hampstead is in Chatham County, we have to make sure they can make it out if we want to play.”
Statesboro’s softball team will also remain unaffected. They will travel to Union Grove tomorrow to play a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the state playoffs.