Melbourne athletic director Fred Keeney had to do something he didn’t want to do to his volleyball team’s schedule: cancel a Cape Coast Conference match.
“Volleyball scheduling has been a bear,” he said. “We’re not going to get all our conference games in because volleyball ends Saturday.”
Those affected by damage from Hurricane Matthew have more serious problems, but Brevard County athletic officials have run into a mixture of roadblocks in rescheduling events lost due to the storm.
Eau Gallie had planned to move its Week 6 football game against Holy Trinity, which was homecoming, to Wednesday, before the storm hit. After the team adjusted practices and prepared the field to play, Brevard Schools officials cancelled all after-school events for that night.
“We don’t know 100 percent. We’re looking at different options,” Commodores athletic director Todd Oas said. The problem is that Eau Gallie hosts Jensen Beach on Friday, and it’s a key District 14-6A game, meaning it has to be played.
“Obviously, district competition is priority,” Oas said. “Fairness to the schedule and fairness to the gate (income) carries some weight, too. We’d love to host Holy Trinity. It’s a financial matter for us.”
Another consideration for Brevard Schools is respect for Yom Kippur on Wednesday. The district prefers not to schedule events on that day or the day before Judaism’s holiest day of the year.
Melbourne’s volleyball team will now host district opponent Harmony on Thursday at 7 p.m., losing its previously scheduled game against Merritt Island. That toppled another domino, because Harmony had been scheduled to face Astronaut. Now, the War Eagles have nobody to play on this, the final week of the regular season.
But that isn’t the biggest headache for Astronaut athletic director Cheryl Shivel. Her school lost its homecoming game against Rockledge that was to be played last Friday, though it was a non-district matchup.
“Varsity football is going to be huge for us. That game could be a wash,” she said. But without school on Monday, the district golf tournament her school was to have hosted at Indian River Preserve was also lost. She has petitioned the FHSAA for permission to play it after the approved dates, because her coach doesn’t yet know when course conditions will allow.
Cape Coast Conference golf and swimming championships were to be played last week, each event affecting 14 boys and 14 girls teams. Now, nobody knows what will happen.
“Conference swimming and diving is a huge event,” Shivel said. “I can’t even imagine what the conference will look like.”
That’s because conference finish in each event determines which school wins the all-sports trophy at the end of the year. The winner of each school gets 14 points toward the award, followed by 13 to the runner-up, all the way down to 1 point for the last-place team.
“It’s going to hurt some schools,” Oas said. “It could be widespread if swimming can’t get going at the Cocoa Beach pool. Volleyball has lost matches. We have some teams that won’t play 13 games.”
Titusville’s boys have won the CCC swimming and diving title six years in a row, and the girls have won the last three. In addition to their lost chance to extend those streaks, Terriers coach Natasha Kremer knows what the competition — the one that brings teams from 14 Brevard public schools to one pool each year — means to competitors who want to measure themselves against friends and rivals.
“Having watched it over 20 years, it’s a huge meet for the kids from all the schools,” she said. “We you get into district, you compete against kids from teams you don’t know, so it’s big for all the local teams.”
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High school sports schedule changes
Harmony at Melbourne, 7:15
Melbourne at Palm Bay, 7:15
Bayside at Sebastian River, 7