Hurricane Ian forces athletic event movements in Greater Valley Area

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The threat of Hurricane Ian to the Greater Valley Area has moved around several athletic events over the past week.

Ian is expected to make landfall on the gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday.

Although Ian likely won’t major impact our area, schools have taken precautions to make sure games can be enjoyed by fans without rain and wind bearing down on them.

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Beulah announced on Monday that their game at Dadeville will be moved to Thursday night.

Beulah head coach Matthew Johnson decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

“Dadeville talked to me, and with the way their field drains we just wanted to make sure we could get this region game in,” Johnson said.

“Even though it’s looking like it’s going to miss us now, hindsight is 20/20. We want to make sure we are able to play the game. There’s a lot of things that go into it like pre-game meals, transportation, fans and officials. We just prepared for it on Monday. We’ve played Thursday night before, so we’re prepared for it.”

Valley also announced on Monday that their home game against Central Clay County would be moved to Thursday night since Point will also play at Ram Stadium on Saturday.

“There was just too much uncertainty,” Valley head coach Adam Hunter said.

“We wanted to make sure we took care of our field and had a good crowd. Point plays Saturday. If we played Friday and tore up the field, it would’ve been bad on Saturday for them. We didn’t want to tear up the field.”

Hunter mentioned that Central Clay County was very open to the idea of moving the game.

Lanett moved their game with Reeltown to Thursday.

Springwood, despite having homecoming this week, is also moving to Thursday.

LaFayette waited until Tuesday to make their decision, and they will be the only team to play on Friday night.

For head coach Joey Burch, it was a precautionary measure even though they have homecoming this week.

“We wanted to make a change early enough,” Burch said. “I’m a father of two girls. I know girls get their hair and makeup done and get spray tans. I wanted to give them plenty of time so they could get that kind of stuff done. We didn’t want to have homecoming activities with tons and tons of wind. On Monday, it looked like it was a possibility.”

Burch had to go through several channels to move the game.

“I wanted to find out what other teams in the area were doing,” Burch said.

“We talked to the AISA and Roddie Beck. We had to see the availability of officials. The administration here went to work. It sounds easy just bumping it a day forward, but there’s a lot of work that goes into that.”

Burch had to figure out how to move around the homecoming activities due to the game being moved up.

“We worked all day yesterday,” Burch said.

“We put effort in so our students and alumni can enjoy the activities. Some alumni were going to come, but they couldn’t rearrange their schedule. We were going to induct them into the athletic hall of fame. We’re going to reschedule that for basketball season.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, there is a 30% chance of rain in LaFayette on Friday. However, there are still 10 to 20 mile per hour winds expected. The Bulldogs will also have their homecoming on Friday.

Football wasn’t the only sport impacted either.

Valley’s volleyball team was forced to move their senior night to Monday due to the football game being played Friday.