The prospects of playing high school football games this week are bleak.
And Hurricane Ian is to blame.
Sarasota County schools announced they will close beginning Tuesday until “further notice.”
That means no practice or games or after-school activities will take place, since most of the schools are used as shelters.
Hurricane Ian Live Updates: Manatee County orders evacuations, closes schools beginning Tuesday
“All athletic activities, including practices and games, are canceled beginning tomorrow (Tuesday) until further notice,” Sarasota County director of athletics James Slaton said. “We’ll know more once it gets over Cuba, but as of right now we are just preparing. We are opening shelters beginning tomorrow (Tuesday).”
For most area teams and throughout the state, this is the first week for district play in football, so these games are mandatory as far as scheduling goes.
“Football is the only one where we are mandated to play these games,” Slaton said. “The plan will be to make up those games. But our first priority is obviously safety and security. And then we’ll try to work them out.”
When will make up games be scheduled?
Do not expect anything to be made up this weekend or Monday, Oct. 3.
“Most likely it will be down the road,” Slaton said. “Your not going to be out potentially for this week and make a game up on Monday after not practicing for a week.”
With some of the teams already having their one scheduled off week during the season, it would be difficult to match up teams that way. So Monday games may be the way to go.
“More than likely it will be looking at the following week to start trying to make that game, more than likely on a Monday,” Slaton said. “The other part we’ve got to think about is a lot of our schools are shelters. To get that school ready to have a game this weekend would be really, really tough.
“Right now it is until further notice. We’re not sure what’s going to happen with it. We just don’t know. But we are canceled beginning tomorrow until further notice.”
Cardinal Mooney Catholic canceled school Tuesday until further notice and extracurricular activities after 5:30 p.m. Monday, meaning Monday's volleyball match between the Cougars and The Classical Academy of Sarasota has been canceled.
Manatee County schools posted this announcement on its Web site: While all school and after-school activities will continue throughout the day today, Monday, September 26th, all school and after-school activities will be closed beginning first thing Tuesday. The duration of school closings is not known at this time, and will be dependent on the movement and impact of the storm.
Charlotte County posted this announcement on its Web site: In preparation for Hurricane Ian, school will be canceled on Tuesday as well as any student activities scheduled Tuesday. A decision on school closing for Wednesday, September 28 will be forthcoming.
The Sunshine State Athletic Conference announced it has permitted 8-man teams to practice Sunday, Oct. 2 without approval from the conference. Sunday can not be used to play a game. Sarasota Christian School and The Classical Academy at Sarasota are the two 8-man SSAC teams in the area. The Florida High School Athletic Association also granted teams to practice Sunday, Oct. 2, but not play a game on that day.
Also in the SSAC, Friday's Gateway Charter at Saint Stephen's Episcopal football game Friday has been postponed because Saint Stephen's is closed the remainder of the week.
Jones High reported on twitter that its game Friday at IMG Academy National game has been canceled and no other information is available.
Venice High coach John Peacock tweeted that its game against Chaminade-Madonna has been canceled and the district game scheduled for Friday at Riverview High's Ram Bowl has been postponed until Monday, Oct. 10 or possibly Friday, Oct. 7. Riverview has a home game scheduled for Oct. 7 against Kissimmee Osceola.
DeSoto at Lemon Bay district football has been postponed to Oct. 7. The Bulldogs were scheduled to play a home game against Ridge Community Oct. 7. The Manta Rays had a game at Carrollwood Day Oct. 7 in Tampa.
Charlotte at Riverdale will be played Monday, Oct. 3.
On the volleyball scene, Venice HIgh's home match against No. 1 Miami Westminster Academy 7 p.m. Thursday along with the Battle at the Beach scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Venice High have been canceled.
Week 6 high school football schedule
Booker at Bayshore Class 2A-District 15)
Braden River at Port Charlotte (Class 3A-District 13)
Charlotte at Riverdale (Class 4A-District 15) postponed until Oct. 3
Jones at IMG National (independent) canceled
Manatee at Lakewood Ranch (Class 4A-District 13)
Sarasota at Cardinal Mooney (non-district)
DeSoto County at Lemon Bay (Class 2A-District 15) postponed until Oct. 7
Parrish Community at Southeast (Class 3A-District 13)
Venice at Riverview (Class 4A-District 14) postponed to Oct. 7 or Oct. 10
Saint Stephen’s at Gateway Charter (Sunshine State Athletic Conference) postponed
Academy at the Lakes at Sarasota Christian (8-man Sunshine State Athletic Conference)
Dennis Maffezzoli is the deputy sports editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and chief reporter for Sarasota Herald-Tribune and HTpreps covering Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Support local journalism by subscribing.
Follow @maffsports on Twitter
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota high school sports: Hurricane Ian upends this week's schedule