Schedules in disarray following shutdowns
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
January 29, 2014 04:50 PM | 2207 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The wintry weather that raced across Georgia on Tuesday has wreaked havoc on the athletic schedules across the county.

After three days of either shortened school days, or days canceled altogether, it leaves area wrestling, swimming and basketball in flux for the remainder of the week.

With no practices and games scheduled, athletes have been left to work out on their own in preparation for when normal activities are slated to resume.

Also affected was the annual Cobb County Touchdown Club awards banquet. The event, set for tonight at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, was postponed, with tentative plans of it being rescheduled for Feb. 10.

High schools weren’t the only ones affected.

The Kennesaw State men’s basketball team pushed its trip to USC Upstate back a day. The Owls will now travel to Spartanburg, S.C., on Friday, with their trip to East Tennessee State moved to Sunday.

Southern Poly’s men’s and women’s basketball games at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., was postponed from today to Feb. 3. Life’s trip to Dalton State was postponed from Wednesday until today.

The high school area wrestling tournaments are currently all scheduled to go on as planned, with only the seeding meetings being affected. This could change, however, if certain counties elect to close Friday as well.

“We’re still planning on a Friday and Saturday tournament at North Paulding,” said Allatoona wrestling coach Joe Lanier, whose Area 5AAAAA is comprised of schools from Cobb, Paulding, Douglas and Bartow counties. “We’re all in the same boat. All the schools have shut down. We’ve had no practices and no access to facilities or anything. Nobody is getting around right now.

“The seeding meeting for (Wednesday night) was canceled, and we don’t have a time planned yet for a new one. Hopefully, we’ll meet somewhere central for all of the schools during the day with the sun out and get everything hashed out.”

Fortunately for the coaching staffs and wrestlers, the Georgia High School Association added another pound of allowance to each weight class because of the inclement weather and missed practices. It’s designed to make it easier for wrestlers to meet their weight requirements for this weekend’s tournaments.

“Now, it’s weight plus 4 pounds, as it stands (Wednesday),” Lanier said.

Kell will host the Area 7AAAAA meet, which is also planned for Friday and Saturday. The area is comprised of schools from Fulton, Cherokee, Cobb and Forsyth counties.

“We changed our seeding meeting to Friday morning at 9 a.m.,” Kell coach Steve Lattizori said. “The coaches are going to go back, get their kids and return for the meet that evening.

“Nobody foresaw (how this storm was going to go). The kids are on their own right now. The 4 pounds will help them, but they still need to be in shape when we get going. They just have to get out and run and workout on their own.”

Lattizori praised the county’s bus drivers for their efforts amid all the chaos Tuesday.

“They were phenomenal,” he said. “They dropped kids off and some came back to get more students. The seniors stepped up and guided drivers to areas where they don’t normally drop off kids, so all of our kids got off campus. They did a great job.”

Area tournaments at McEachern, Etowah and Mount Zion-Carroll were all scheduled to take place Saturday, and those plans haven’t changed.

“The seeding meeting was scheduled for (Wednesday), and now it’s Friday afternoon, but the jury’s still out,” said Mount Paran Christian coach Connie Arnold, who said the school had some students stranded on its Kennesaw campus Tuesday evening. “We had kids at the school until 10 p.m. The decision was made for them to leave and stay at the homes of other Mount Paran kids who lived across the street. They spent the night there until someone was able to get them.”

According to Harrison coach Cory Newsome, the Area 4AAAAAA seeding meeting, originally scheduled for today, is still unknown, as is the meeting for Area 5AAAAAA coaches.

“I suppose (host) Etowah is waiting to hear from the GHSA,” Lassiter coach Matt Brickley said. “We have schools from Fulton, Cherokee and Cobb in our area, and there’s talk that Fulton and Cherokee schools will close on Friday, so things are up in the air.

“Fulton is a long county, and the schools down south were hit pretty hard. With three different counties, a lot has to be determined. It hurts the kids because they haven’t practiced and will have to work out on their own.

As for basketball games, the GHSA announced that it had waived the weekday restriction with regard to scheduling through the remainder of the regular season, which should make it easier for teams to reschedule games missed due to the inclement weather.

“The GHSA allows one weeknight contest preceding a school day,” McEachern athletic director Jimmy Dorsey said. “That’s why you usually see teams play one game on either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and it starts after 6 p.m., but they’ll play Friday night and again on Saturday. There’s no school the next day.

“So, if that’s waived, there’s more flexibility for everybody now. Each school just needs to get with the other schools and make the arrangements. Teams will be able to play two even three games during the week to get those games in.”
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