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Weather plays havoc with tournament schedules

BY JUSTIN RICE

Washington & Lee High School football coach Antron Yates wants to play.

The Eagles’ Northern Neck District football showdown against Essex on Saturday was postponed, and with rain forecast all day Tuesday and the end of the regular season looming this weekend, time is short.

“It’s got to happen,” Yates said. “It’s basically for a district championship.”

W&L isn’t the only school affected by Hurricane Sandy’s scheduling havoc.

The Region I field hockey tournaments was scheduled to start Monday, and the Northwestern Region event today. The times and locations for both events seem likely to change.

Mountain View and Stafford were set to host Northwest Region hockey games on Tuesday, while Colonial Forge was playing at Woodbridge High School.

In Region I, home games for James Monroe and Chancellor and road games in York County for King George and Courtland were first scheduled for Monday, and then pushed back to Tuesday.

One likely scenario now is a rush to turf fields when the weather breaks Wednesday, as expected.

Mountain View is looking to play its hockey game at Liberty High School in Bealeton. And King George High School could for the first time reap the benefits of its new turf field, hosting as many as three games—Stafford’s, James Monroe’s and Chancellor’s.

Woodbridge High School would likely do the same with its home field hockey game, moving to a turf field in Prince William County.

Away games for King George and Courtland’s hockey teams will be subject to conditions at Tabb and Bruton High Schools, but York County’s Bailey Field is a field turf surface, and would likely be ready to play as soon as the rain stops and the schools are back in session.

The VHSL state field hockey tournament begins next Tuesday, so an adjusted schedule that concludes the region tournaments by Saturday is likely.

W&L and Essex didn’t play their rivalry football game early last Saturday afternoon, as scheduled.

“I was very disappointed,” Yates said, “considering Little League was played all over the state. My son played, and they didn’t have a problem.”

Two hurdles stand in the way of a makeup game:

Washington & Lee is scheduled to play its regular-season finale at Colonial Beach on Friday, and moving that game to Saturday would likely have a huge effect on attendance and revenue.

The Eagles and Trojans need to have a field to play on. Though Yates said the teams could be ready to play as soon as Wednesday (even with no practice dates beforehand), W&L’s field might not be.

But Yates badly wants to get the game in. It’s the Eagles’ chance to defend last year’s district title against the Trojans, and W&L would improve its playoff seeding with a victory.

The Commonwealth and Battlefield District volleyball teams still have two rounds of district playoffs to complete, but area athletic directors seemed less concerned about schedule conflicts there.

With schools not in session, the two tournaments won’t be played Tuesday, but there should be plenty of other dates this week to complete semifinal and final rounds, assuming there are not massive power outages across the region.

The Northwest Region cross country meet is Thursday in Albemarle, and the Region I meet is Wednesday at Loriella Park. Area athletic directors said it’s too early in the week to determine any changes necessary for either event.

Justin Rice: 540/368-5045

jrice@freelancestar.com

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