Area high school schedule in flux

Postponements, threat of more snow alter plans

February 08, 2010|By Glenn Graham | Baltimore Sun reporter

The heavy snowstorm that hit over the weekend and the likelihood of more snow to come has continued to paralyze the area's high school athletic schedule, further postponing events and possibly jeopardizing some altogether.

Baltimore County has closed schools through Wednesday -- thus postponing all after-school activities -- and the surrounding school districts are likely to follow. With more snow possible today and Wednesday, the entire school week could be wiped out. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of Maryland, with eight or more inches expected in the Baltimore area. "You just don't expect anything quite like this," Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director Rick Diggs said.

"You always expect postponements at times, but this is extraordinary, and to hit us at this time is difficult. You just have to roll with the punches and do what you can do." The MIAA, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association are all in day-to-day mode as far as trying to complete their regular-season schedules and moving on to postseason play.

In the MIAA, the wrestling championships are still set for Saturday at Mount St. Joseph. Diggs said any regular-season dual meet matches postponed this week will hopefully be made up next week to help determine the regular-season league champion.

The MIAA swimming championships, originally set for Saturday at McDonogh, have been postponed until next week, with the date and location to be determined.

The MIAA ice hockey championships -- originally set for this Friday -- have been rescheduled for Feb. 19 at Piney Orchard Ice Arena, provided the semifinals can be played before then.

The IAAM basketball tournaments have been postponed until Monday when the B and C conferences will play their first-round games. The quarterfinals in the A, B and C conferences will be held on Feb. 16, and the semifinals on Feb. 18, all at the higher seeds. The title games will be held on Feb. 21 at a site to be determined.

After two postponements, the IAAM swimming championships are scheduled for Sundayat UMBC at 9 a.m.

In the MPSSAA, the wrestling postseason was set to kick off Wednesday with the dual meet regional tournament followed by the dual meet state tournament Saturday. With county tournaments set for the following weekend, then the regional and state tournaments the next two weekends, there may be no chance of rescheduling the dual meet tournaments if this week is completely lost.

The state association is hoping to release preliminary rescheduling today of all the regional track and field meets that need to be run.

Two regional meets were canceled on Saturday and Monday. All 12 regional meets were originally supposed to be completed by Wednesday, but every region has been affected by the weather.

In Baltimore County, the girls and boys basketball county championship games scheduled for Feb. 19 have been moved to Feb. 23. The JV finals will be Feb. 24. That will stretch the county's final play date to Feb. 19 to give teams extra time to make up games, said Ron Belinko, coordinator of athletics for Baltimore County public schools.

Last week's snow should have left county teams with only one game to make up, Belinko said, if they have followed the policy of playing on the next available date. However, with the additional closings and the possibility of more snow, some games may have to be canceled.

The District V boys and girls basketball championships -- which feature the first-place teams in Anne Arundel and Howard counties facing each other -- are still on as planned. The girls game is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at River Hill, while the boys game will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Arundel.

Anne Arundel County coordinator of athletics Greg LeGrand said schools are running out of dates to make up regular-season basketball games (the state allows one postponed game to be made up per week).

"We're still trying to make up things from last week," he said. "Quite honestly, we're getting to the point now where in basketball and wrestling, there may be some events that simply won't be made up."

The state playoff schedule for basketball has not changed. The draw is scheduled for Feb. 21 and regionals begin Feb. 26 for girls and Feb. 27 for boys.

Katherine Dunn and Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.

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