Bad weather intercepts high school football finals

Games last night, today are pushed to next week

December 06, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

By noon yesterday, Broadneck football coach Jeff Herrick estimated that he already had been on the phone for two consecutive hours.

He talked to his athletic director, his players - both current and former - and family and friends, spreading the word that Broadneck would have to wait a few more days before playing for its first state championship.

The wintry mix that hit the area late Thursday night and early yesterday morning, and is forecast to continue today, forced the postponement of the Bruins' Class 4A title game against Damascus last night at M&T Bank Stadium. The Class 2A and 1A games scheduled for today also were postponed.

The Broadneck-Damascus game has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m at M&T Bank Stadium. The Class 1A (Joppatowne-Beall) and 2A games (Aberdeen-Potomac) will be played on Wednesday at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., respectively, at M&T Bank Stadium.

For the second straight year, the first play day of the winter season for public schools also was wiped out because of the inclement weather. Approximately 75 boys and girls basketball games and around a dozen wrestling tournaments were postponed, and more postponements are expected today.

"It was a preponderance of things, from difficulty of travel, difficulty of getting students to schools to issues with the stadium and them not being able to clear out from not only one storm, but two storms," Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said of the decision to postpone the games. "The real issue was with travel, and school systems indicated that they weren't comfortable putting youngsters on the road and being responsible for them."

Sparks said that the Ravens' organization was willing to allow the games on M&T Bank Stadium's synthetic turf, where the Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals meet tomorrow.

Herrick had ex-players and family of current Bruins traveling from all over to come to last night's game. One group of former players, traveling by car from North Carolina, had already arrived yesterday morning before the postponements.

Herrick said he has gotten permission from Anne Arundel County administrator of athletics Marlene Kelly to conduct a practice today - most likely in the gym - if weather permits.

"I don't like kids sitting around for three days," said Herrick. "I'd rather they be doing something pertaining to football."

Joppatowne coach Greg Komondor and Aberdeen coach Joe Harbert said that their teams will have the weekend off, returning to practice on Monday.

"It just gives us a couple of more days to prepare and get healthy," said Harbert, who counts standout quarterback Erin Henderson (sprained ankle) among his banged-up players.

Komondor, whose team had a game canceled this season as a result of Tropical Storm Isabel, certainly has kept his sense of humor.

"The hurricanes, the bad weather, the ups and downs," he said. "Why not have a delay in the championship game? This makes perfect sense."

State football championships

At M&T Bank Stadium

Tuesday: Class 4A

Broadneck vs. Damascus, 7 p.m. Wednesday: Class 1A

Joppatowne vs. Beall, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: Class 2A

Aberdeen vs. Potomac, 7:30 p.m.

Note: Admission $8

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