By 2 p.m. on Thursday, many of the school districts in metro Atlanta announced that school would be canceled once more today — giving students three straight days off — and forcing athletic directors to work another day of missed games into the schedule.
After school activities, including basketball games for each of the county’s six high schools, were postponed on Tuesday. Add in the games that were scheduled for this evening and each of the schools are trying to work in at least four varsity basketball games. Some could be making up more games if activities on Saturday are also canceled.
The Georgia High School Association has made things easier on the basketball programs in two ways. First, the calendar had a built-in makeup day on Feb. 8. Second, the GHSA waived its rule limiting teams to playing one game per week on a school night.
So while it might make for some exhausted players, in theory teams can make up the missed games next week. They would play their regularly scheduled region games on Tuesday and Friday and then use Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday to fit in the two postponed contests.
The case for wrestling is a little more interesting. Traditional wrestling area tournaments are scheduled for this weekend with some starting as early as today. Because of the school cancellations, some teams needed permission to continue their meets.
That is the case at Etowah, the host of the Area 5AAAAAA meet. Because the county canceled school on Friday, Etowah athletic director Robert VanAlstyne was working with not only the school district but the schools from outside the county to see if the meet could still be held on Saturday.
In addition to Etowah, Cherokee, Lassiter, Milton, Roswell, Walton, Wheeler and Woodstock are a part of the area.
VanAlstyne said that in early talks with the wrestling coaches from the area, some were interested in postponing the meet until next week even if they are granted permission to have it. The only catch is that the meet must be concluded prior to Feb. 8 when the sectional meet is held, as the top placers from the area advance to the sectional.
“They haven’t had practice since Monday, so some don’t want to have the tournament Saturday,” VanAlstyne said. “They haven’t seen their kids in almost a week. If that is the consensus then we will certainly do everything we can to execute the tournament as soon as we can next week so the kids are ready for the section on Saturday, Feb 8.”
As for scheduling for next week, VanAlstyne knows it will be tough and Etowah might have to cancel its non-region game with Marist altogether.
“We may have a busy week next week,” VanAlstyne said. “Etowah had a home game Tuesday that was canceled and a home game a (Friday) that it looks like will be canceled. We are at Marist for basketball on Saturday and then hosting the (area) wrestling tournament on Saturday. Next week we have games scheduled for Tuesday and Friday, so we could have three make-up basketball games and a wrestling tournament to try to get done in six days. It’s going to be interesting as we try to figure it out.”
VanAlstyne said that basketball games could be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday with the wrestling tournament taking place either Monday or Thursday.
Because there only eight teams in the area for wrestling, VanAlstyne said they don’t need to worry about any wrestler competing in more than five bouts that the GHSA allows in a day, but they would have to be mindful of allowing the required 45 minutes between rounds. One way around that would be to wrestle during the day, but that would not only pull wrestlers out of class for another day, but hurt the team with lost revenue from fans, who are unable to attend.
Creekview athletic director Kevin Higgins said the wrestling coaches from Area 7AAAAA held a seeding meeting on Thursday, but are still awaiting direction from Cherokee County Schools as to whether they will be able to participate. The meet is being held at Kell and Cobb County does not have a rule preventing teams from competing on a Saturday, following the closure of schools on Friday.
Creekview also saw its basketball games at Pope and against Northview postponed, but may have an easier time rescheduling with just one game—against Sprayberry on Tuesday—on the calendar next week.
Sequoyah, which competes in the same area, is in the same situation. Sequoyah is all looking to reschedule games against Kell and North Springs.
River Ridge athletic director Mike Baker said Thursday that he was unsure how any of the activities were going to be made up.
“We are still in the finding out stage,” he said.
The wrestling team is scheduled to compete in the Area 7AAAA meet at Cass. Meanwhile, the basketball was scheduled to host Cedartown for senior night tonight. In addition to the postponed game at Gilmer on Tuesday, Cass and Pickens remain on the Region 7AAAA (A) schedule for River Ridge.
Woodstock and Cherokee will also be making up basketball games. Woodstock was to host Walton on Tuesday and Lassiter today. It will play games at Roswell and Etowah next week.
Cherokee needs to make up games at Roswell and against Walton, while traveling to Wheeler on Tuesday and hosting Milton next Friday.