Score one for Mother Nature.
All of Friday night’s Kickoff Classics involving Manatee County’s public-school programs — highlighted by the much-anticipated matchup between Manatee High and Southeast High — were canceled because of poor field conditions caused by days of rain.
Since they were preseason games and don’t count toward a team’s record-season record, they will not be rescheduled.
“The reasons for the cancellation is twofold,” said Jason Montgomery, Manatee County’s district supervisor of athletics. “The safety of the players and the protection of our playing fields. The constant rain has made the playing surfaces exceptionally soft, so it could render the footing on the fields as potentially dangerous.
“In addition, the damage the fields would endure during these preseason games could impact their playability for the remainder of the football season.”
Manatee and Southeast were scheduled to meet for the first time since the 2016 season, but Mother Nature had other ideas.
The other games scheduled to take place in Manatee County that were canceled:
▪ Cardinal Mooney at Bayshore;
▪ Gibsonton East Bay at Palmetto;
▪ Seminole Osceola at Lakewood Ranch;
▪ Tampa Hillsborough at Braden River.
Also canceled was Out-of-Door Academy’s game against visiting St. Petersburg Keswick Christian.
Bradenton Christian’s home game against St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep was rescheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.
Weather permitting, of course.