Manatee and Palmetto have found a makeup date. The annual Manatee County rivalry clash between the Hurricanes and Tigers has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Monday after being postponed Friday due to Hurricane Hermine.
Friday’s game, originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m., was postponed Thursday evening when the Manatee County School District announced the cancellation of Friday classes and after-school activities.
The Canes (0-1) and Palmetto (1-0) spent the ensuing 16 hours negotiating a makeup date with the Tigers pushing for Saturday and Manatee, which will host the game at Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium, suggesting Monday. By 1 p.m. on Friday, the two had agreed to move the game to Labor Day.
Dave Marino originally insisted on Saturday with the expectation that most of Hurricane Hermine would miss the county and leave Bradenton relatively dry through Friday. Monday isn’t ideal, but it wound up being the only day that worked for the anticipated matchup.
“We didn’t have any say so,” the Palmetto head coach said. “(Hurricanes head coach John Booth) and I wanted to play tomorrow. Manatee wanted to play Monday. They had the call.”
Rain persisted throughout the early part of Friday across the area.
Booth walked the field at Manatee High School on Friday morning to assess the conditions and quickly determined it wouldn’t be playable by Saturday. Both end zones were covered with puddles as were swaths of the sidelines and the area between the hashmarks and the boundaries of the field. Only spots inside the hashmarks, Booth said, were in good enough shape to play on.
Both the Canes and Tigers plan to practice Saturday, putting them on the field for the first time since Wednesday.
“It wasn’t in condition to be played on,” Booth said. “We’re hoping without it raining later today and without rain tomorrow it’ll be good by Monday. It’ll probably still be pretty soft.”
Marino also suggested moving the game to IMG Academy Stadium, which has a turf field with better drainage, but Manatee was unwilling to lose a home game.
Booth hopes the Hurricanes’ Sept. 9 game in Venice could be pushed back a day. Venice’s game against Sarasota Riverview was postponed and no makeup date has been announced there. It is possible that game may be canceled.
Marino is less hopeful about his team’s options. The Tigers are scheduled to play Southeast on Sept. 9, and the Seminoles will be coming off a de facto bye week. The Noles’ game against Braden River was canceled.
“It’s not right for the kids to play Monday and then turn around and play Friday,” Marino said. “Why is it that our kids get put in this precarious situation?”
Southeast will not make up its game against the Pirates as the two teams have conflicting bye weeks. The Lakewood Ranch and Bayshore game was also canceled after being briefly rescheduled for Saturday. Mustangs athletic director Shawn Trent checked the field at Lakewood Ranch High School during the day Friday and determined, along with the county, that the field was unplayable. The Mustangs and the Bruins also have different bye weeks, leaving no alternative dates.
There will still be two games locally featuring area private schools. Saint Stephen’s, with its artificial turf field at Moore Athletic Complex at Turner Fields, will host Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic at 10:30 a.m. in a rematch of last year’s Sunshine State Athletic Conference championship. Out-of-Door Academy will host St. Petersburg Keswick Christian at 11 a.m. for a SSAC Coral Bay division game at Thunder Field.
Hurricane Hermine has wreaked havoc on the Labor Day weekend football schedule. Here’s an updated look at when games will be played:
Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic at Saint Stephen’s, 10:30 a.m.
St. Petersburg Keswick Christian at Out-of-Door Academy, 11 a.m.
IMG Academy vs. Centennial (Corona, Calif.) in Mission Viejo, Calif., 10 p.m.
Palmetto at Manatee, 6 p.m.
Bradenton Christian at St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep, TBD
Southeast at Braden River, CANCELED
Bayshore at Lakewood Ranch, CANCELED