Sarasota County Schools announce return to competition plan

Sports teams in Sarasota County can begin practicing Friday and need four practices before engaging in competition.
Sports teams in Sarasota County can begin practicing Friday and need four practices before engaging in competition.

SARASOTA — Sarasota County Schools rolled out a return to play plan for athletic programs after their seasons were interrupted by Hurricane Ian.

Sarasota County Schools superintendent Dr. Brennan Asplen signed off on the plan Wednesday afternoon.

Sarasota County athletic teams can start practice beginning Friday. The county also received approval from the Florida High School Athletic Association to allow Sunday practices.

Sports teams must have four practices prior to competition.

“For a Friday night football game they are fine because they have all next week,” James Slaton, Sarasota County director of athletics said.

When rescheduling football games, district games will take priority.

“Athletic directors are working on that right now, trying to figure out district games,” Slaton said.

For other fall sports, it is not as clear.

Some golf courses, cross country courses and swimming pools used by county schools sustained damage.

“It’s all over the board: You’ve got some that are good to go and you’ve got some that’ll be next week,” Slaton said. “Obviously, those are very different.”

All the Sarasota County high schools, except North Port High, are expected to open Monday. North Port High is expected to open Oct. 17.

But while the school had extensive damage, the sports facilities at North Port High were spared for the most part.

“North Port is in the worst shape, but surprisingly their facilities to practice, we can practice,” Slaton said.

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 County Schools announce return to competition plan