With tropical storm Hermine bearing down on Florida's Gulf Coast on Thursday, and with the storm projected to take aim at Statesboro on Friday, Bulloch County officials made the decision to shut down schools on Friday.
Along with the cancellation of classes is a big shakeup to the normal Friday night football schedule. Games have been moved up, back, and canceled alltogether in an attempt to work around Friday's projected weather of nearly five inches of rain and sustained winds topping 30 miles per hour.
Statesboro to play Saturday
Statesboro High has moved its game against Liberty High School to Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Liberty County got a head start on cancellations, making their call late Wednesday night. However, since Saturday’s technically aren’t school days an official cancellation from the school board doesn’t affect events that take place then.
Liberty County’s school board was fine from the getgo for the Panthers to travel to Statesboro, pending the Bulloch County board gave the game the okay. Both schools agreed, so now Liberty County will have to leave their school before 7:30 a.m. to make it down to Statesboro in time for the early morning game.
“We were perfectly fine with letting the game go to Saturday because when Liberty had closed schools we figured we’d follow the same,” said Statesboro athletic director Chad Prosser. “All we needed was the okay from their side.”
Tropical Storm Hermine is projected to bring three to five inches of rain when it passes over Bulloch County, adding wind gusts of over 40 miles per hour. There have also been reports of possible tornado formations during Hermine’s landfall, but despite all these reports Prosser isn’t worried about damage to Womack Field.
“Our field crowns very well and has drained out well in the past,” Prosser said. “The way the field is structured we don’t anticipate any sort of damage that would make it unplayable.”
By Saturday, Hermine is projected to be well past Raleigh, NC and back out into the Atlantic. Prosser is confident the field will be drained by then and there will be no issues for weather at game time on Saturday.
“Right now we’re scheduled for 10 and that’s what we’re preparing for,” said head coach Steve
Pennington. “We can’t do anything about it. So we’ll just have to deal with it.”
SEB and Bradwell washed out entirely
Southeast Bulloch was set to face their second consecutive AAAAAA school before the cancellations as the Yellow Jackets were going to open their home slate against Bradwell Institute. With the game cancelled, the Yellow Jackets won’t play a home game until September 16 when they open Region 3-AAA play against Islands.
“Administratively we couldn’t staff the game like we needed to in order to put on a high school football game,” said SEB Athletic Director Jack Webb. “We didn’t feel comfortable with the number of people that could work that we’d have enough.”
Among the volunteer workers needed would be people to work concessions, the ticket office, the chain crew and PA announcers and with it being Labor Day weekend and a Georgia Southern home football game, there weren’t enough people to cover it.
Because the off weeks for SEB and Bradwell are different, there was no possibility to reschedule the game.
“Our off week is the last week of the season and Bradwell is playing Glynn Academy that week, so we can’t make this game up,” Webb said.
State rules only allow one game a week.
“We couldn’t cover it so we’ll just move on to next week,” Webb said.
Screven County's out-of-state trip delayed by one day
The Screven County Gamecocks are poised to play their second consecutive opponent from South Carolina.
Friday's scheduled game against Wade Hampton was put on hold, but the Gamecocks will head north to Varnville on Saturday to play the game which is now scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m.
The game will air live on 106.5 FM with pregame coverage coming over the airwaves beginning at 1:45 p.m.
Gators and Westfield won't play
Bulloch Academy’s game against Westfield has been cancelled and will not be made up. The Gators will play next Friday night, September 9 at Gator Alley at 7:30 p.m. against Thomas Jefferson Academy.