By Bryan Levine & Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
UPDATE: North Port High School has announced its intentions of practice this weekend, with a football game set for Monday at 7:30 p.m. against Sarasota.
The Bobcats will practice Friday and Saturday, then hold a walk through on Sunday before hosting the Sailors Monday night.
High school sports will continue to take a back seat, at least this week, while millions of Floridians work to recover from Hurricane Irma.
Both Charlotte and Sarasota County schools are closed for the remainder of the week, with plans to re-open on Monday. With school closures comes the cancellation of all activities, and yes, that even includes football.
Week 4 was supposed to be the start of district play, but due to the storm, Charlotte won’t play Ida Baker, Port Charlotte won’t take on Cape Coral, the Lemon Bay and DeSoto County game is off, North Port won’t kick it with Sarasota and Venice won’t face Lakewood Ranch.
DeSoto County still hasn’t played a game this season as it had its bye in week 1 followed by consecutive postponements due to weather.
As far as makeups go for football, the Florida High School Athletic Association released a statement Wednesday evening stating it would not extend the football season.
“The safety of the student-athletes, parents, coaches and school administrators impacted by Hurricane Irma remains our top concern,” the statement said. “Due to the widespread and varying levels of impact from Hurricane Irma, the FHSAA has chosen not to uniformly cancel, postpone and/or prohibit play. The FHSAA plans to maintain the originally scheduled season dates in an effort to cause the least amount of impact on all other non-athletic activities.”
The FHSAA went on to state that the decision to practice and play will remain up to each individual school and/or district. Schools will be permitted to practice this Sunday with the school and/or district’s approval.
North Port athletic director Tony Miller said the Bobcats could possibly practice Friday and/or Saturday. No decision has been made yet for Charlotte County schools.
In the event games need to be rescheduled or postponed, the FHSAA also encouraged schools to work together to come up with a date that best suits all parties involved.
If a school finishes the regular season with less than the original 10 games scheduled, it won’t affect its playoff chances. Total points will be determined by dividing points earned by games played, and if a school falls below the eight-game minimum requirement, FHSAA executive director George Tomyn may waive the minimum game requirement on a case-by-case basis.