ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane Ian is impacting Central Florida in more ways than one this week as scores of games across multiple counties have been postponed, rescheduled or canceled.
Ian is projected to hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday afternoon and then move northeast across Central Florida and into North Florida before going into Georgia or the Atlantic.
School districts in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, and Volusia all will be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Two other school districts – Brevard and Indian River – are closed on Wednesday and Thursday and a decision will be made on Thursday regarding school and extracurricular activities for Friday. Private schools in most areas usually follow public school scheduling.
Many games originally scheduled for this week are district contests so there is a strong sense of urgency to get them rescheduled.
“We’re still working out the details,” said West Orange coach Geno Thompson, whose Warriors (2-1) were scheduled to play Ocoee (4-1) in a huge Class 4M, District 5 game. “It’s a district game, so it has to be scheduled.”
West Orange has lost three straight after a fast start and is still recovering from losing starting quarterback Trever Jackson to injury early in the season, The Warriors advanced to the Class 8A state playoffs last year.
Ocoee, meanwhile, is red hot. The Knights have won four consecutive games since falling to defending Class 8A state runner-up Apopka, 13-12, in their season-opener.
Two other games involving top Central Florida teams also have yet to be rescheduled. Unbeaten Edgewater (5-0) will visit Wekiva for a Class 3M, District 3 game, and Sanford Seminole (4-1) will travel to Apopka (2-2) for a Class 4M, District 2 showdown.
Edgewater, led by senior running back CJ Baxter, has been impressive on both sides of the ball this year. The Eagles already boast wins against Don Bosco Prep of New Jersey, Jones, and Apopka. Jones last year advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals.
Seminole last week had its 29-game road win streak snapped at defending Class 8A state champ Venice, 24-17. The Seminoles are expected to make a deep run into the postseason this year.
Officials also are working out a makeup date for the Class 4M, District 3 showdown between Hagerty (4-0) and Winter Park (5-0), the latter hosting. A Winter Park school spokesman said Monday, Oct. 17, is the likely makeup date.
Multiple schools have been able to reschedule games for Monday, Oct. 3, including Bishop Moore (2-3), which will host unbeaten Lake Highland Prep (4-0) at 7 p.m. Lake Highland last year won the Sunshine State Athletic Conference AAAA state championship.
In a Class 3M, District 2 game, Oviedo (4-1) will host East River (2-3) at 7 p.m. The Lions defeated Timber Creek 28-7 last week.
Also, on Monday at 7 p.m., upstart Deltona (5-0) will visit winless Daytona Beach Seabreeze (0-4) for a Class 3S, District 9 game.
DeLand (2-2) will host Port Orange Spruce Creek (1-3), which has lost three straight, in a Class 4S, District 9 game at 6:30 p.m.
Unbeaten Tohopekaliga (4-0) will visit Celebration (0-5) for a Class 4S, District 10 game at 7:30 p.m.
Port Orange Atlantic (1-4) will host Ocala Lake Weir (0-5) for a Class 2S, District 8 game at 7 p.m.