High School Football

John Paul II to play Monday night football; 4 local games Saturday

John Paul II will have to wait until Monday to play its SCISA region opener, pushing its game against Palmetto Christian to the end of the holiday schedule to allow enough drying time at its home field in Hardeeville.

The contest was rescheduled for a 5 p.m. kickoff Monday at the Richard Gray Sports Complex.

Athletics director Matt Dakolios said a check of the field Friday morning already showed standing water in several places, with the worst of Tropical Storm Hermine still a few hours away.

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“If we were to go out and play right now, (the field) would be unsafe for players,” Dakolios said. “And it doesn’t look like it’s going to dry up anytime between now and (Saturday). It might get worse.”

Four games remain on the schedule for Saturday, including three pitting Beaufort County School District teams against each other.

May River’s long anticipated home opener against Whale Branch is set for noon, as is Beaufort’s visit to Bluffton. Battery Creek travels to Hilton Head High for a 1 p.m. kickoff, a change of venue to avoid potential drainage issues if rains are heavy.

Also Saturday, Ridgeland-Hardeeville will kick off its home game against Allendale-Fairfax at 1:30 p.m. Thomas Heyward and Beaufort Academy saw their scheduled games canceled Thursday night.

John Paul II and Palmetto Christian also were hoping for a Saturday matchup, but quickly agreed that the Hardeeville venue needed more time to dry.

“They completely understand,” Dakolios said. “They play on a field that’s not at their school, either, so they understand having to share a field with other groups. Their coaches and players would have perferred to play Saturday, as did we. But it’s probably the best decision all-around to play on Monday.”

The big drawback will be a short turnaround before the Golden Warriors’ (0-2) visit to Hilton Head Prep next Friday. Prep is at the other end of the spectrum, with an open date this weekend.

“I guess we’ll just see what happens Monday and what kind of shape our players are in,” Dakolios said. “They’ll be fine for next Friday, I’m sure. It’ll be a short turnaround, but our coaches will get them ready.”

Jeff Shain: 843-706-8123, @jeffshain

Saturday games

Whale Branch at May River, noon

Beaufort at Bluffton, noon

Battery Creek at Hilton Head, 1 p.m.

Allendale-Fairfax at Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 1:30 p.m.

Monday game

Palmetto Christian at John Paul II, 5 p.m.

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