The approach of Tropical Storm Hermine prompted the Beaufort County School District and John Paul II Catholic School to cancel all athletics activities for Thursday, with decisions on Friday’s football plans still pending to see how the storm moves today.
Each of Friday night’s other football games involving area teams also remain scheduled, with officials expected to make that call sometime in the afternoon.
“The storm right now is doing some things we didn’t think it would do (a day earlier),” district spokesman Jim Foster said Wednesday. “We’ll make that call a little closer to time. What they’re predicting is a lot of rain and some pretty high winds.”
National Weather Service officials estimated the storm could bring between 4 and 8 inches of rain to the Lowcountry between Thursday night and Friday evening. Even if the storm has moved out to sea, it could leave behind some soggy fields.
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“You have to worry about how much the field can take on, in terms of water,” said John Paul II athletics director Matt Dakolios, whose team is scheduled to play its SCISA region opener Friday night against Palmetto Christian.
Thursday’s cancellations mostly involve junior varsity football, though a girls’ golf event at Eagle’s Point also will be wiped out. The move also affects Whale Branch’s volleyball trip to Ridgeland-Hardeeville, along with May River/John Paul II and Bluffton/Beaufort Academy girls’ tennis matches.
With Hermine’s pace slowing overnight, chances appeared to dim that football could remain in its usual Friday night slot. Saturday would offer the next-best option, though the holiday weekend could be a concern for schools with small rosters.
“We don’t know who’s going to be in town or not,” said Beaufort Academy athletics director Neal McCarty. “We’ll have to cross that bridge if we get there.”
Gregory McCord, Beaufort County’s chief student services officer, noted that all six district teams are scheduled to play one another, making decisions less complicated.
“We have the beauty of making a local decision,” McCord said. “We don’t have to ask anybody else.”