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Pinellas County plays it safe, postpones games

Soaked fields and a tropical storm aren't the best conditions in which to begin a football season.

BOB PUTNAM
Published September 6, 2003

Pinellas County officials decided to postpone Friday's football games involving public schools due to the path of Tropical Storm Henri.

The National Hurricane Center expected the storm to hit the Tampa Bay area Friday night, bringing sustained winds of 40 mph and up to 8 inches of rain by the end of today.

"This was the right thing to do," Pinellas County activities director Walter Weller said. "The fields are already soaked, plus we didn't want to risk putting people in danger by having them drive in bad weather before and after the games."

Weller said the seven public school games will be played Monday night at 7. Three other games involving private schools were postponed and will be made up either Saturday or Monday (see schedule).

Calvary Christian's first game has not been rescheduled and most likely will not be made up.

Not every team took Friday night off. Four county private schools - Admiral Farragut, Clearwater Central Catholic, Keswick Christian and Shorecrest - played their games on the road in areas that were not affected.

"We were traveling away from the storm and didn't have too much trouble," said Marauders coach Mike Jalazo, whose team played in Boca Raton. "It's nice to get this game in."

Others were not so lucky.

Because the start of the season is being pushed into next week, many schools will have to adjust their sports calendars. Clearwater has the most juggling with two home games in addition to homecoming activities.

Weller made the upcoming week less hectic for some teams by moving three games from Thursday to Friday night.

"I know it's tough and this isn't the way we wanted to start the season," Weller said. "But we didn't have much of a choice."

- Times staff writer Laura Lee contributed to this report.

RESCHEDULED GAMES

TONIGHT

St. Petersburg Catholic at Wesley Chapel, 5

MONDAY

Tarpon Springs at East Lake, 7

Largo at Seminole, 7

Countryside at Clearwater, 7

Lakewood at Northeast, 7

Pinellas Park at Boca Ciega, 7

Gibbs at Dixie Hollins, 7

Osceola at St. Petersburg, 7

Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic at Northside Christian, 6:30

Jacksonville Providence at Indian Rocks Christian, 5:30

NO MAKEUP DATE SET

Calvary Christian at Cambridge

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