09/11/18 — PREPS: WCPS officials cancel remainder of week's athletic events

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PREPS: WCPS officials cancel remainder of week's athletic events

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 11, 2018 5:51 AM



It was business as usual for fall sports teams on Monday.

Consider the rest of the week a wipeout.

Wayne County Public Schools officials announced late Monday afternoon that all middle and high school athletic competitions scheduled for the remainder of the week have been canceled. More than 70 prep events involving JV and varsity teams must be moved to a later date or canceled altogether.

Included in the cancellations are six non-conference varsity football contests -- Nash Central at Goldsboro, C.B. Aycock at North Johnston, Rosewood at South Lenoir, Kinston at Southern Wayne, Southside at North Duplin and Wake Christian at Princeton.

Rosewood and Southern Wayne had hoped to play Wednesday.

No make-up dates have been announced.

"The competitive side of me is a little disappointed, but it's the right decision," said David Lee, athletics director at Southern Wayne. "I've been in this a long time. You've got to put safety first in everything and it's important to protect the kids and parents. There are more things to worry about if this thing stays on course.

"If they say it's going to come in like it's going to come in, we've never seen anything like this before. We've got so many people still recovering from Matthew. We've got a lot of flood prone areas. I'm worried for everybody. I hope somehow it curves out to sea, but I don't think it will happen."

Eastern Wayne AD Nelson Cunningham, Principal Lee Johnson and a majority of the school's staff worked diligently to tie down anything that could fly away in the hurricane.

"We've got a lot of stuff going on getting the campus ready for the hurricane," Cunningham said. "We're kind of fortunate because we didn't have a lot of home events this week. We had a bye week [in football].

"The aftermath, if it's as serious as they're saying it is, that's going to put a halt on athletics and school for a while."

Cunningham said repairs to the new gym roof are complete after leaks from previous storms caused considerable damage to the basketball court. A crew from Georgia arrived Monday afternoon and began to rip up a 400-foot square section of the warbled hardwood to see the extent of the deterioration from moisture.

Once the new boards are put in place, the court will be sanded and repainted.

New bleachers have been installed and the walls have been repainted. Lighting is next on Cunningham's list.

In his third year, Cunningham made sure he involved volleyball coach Anna Hajjar, wrestling coach Aaron Lynch and basketball coaches Michael Gurganus (girls) and Bill Manning (boys) in the renovation process.

"We're hoping to get everything completed by senior night in volleyball," Cunningham said. "That's what Ms. Johnson and myself are pushing for. It's been more work on our end than we thought it would be, but I don't think it would have happened if we didn't continue to push it. They were some things that had to be done."

Students at North Duplin will be dismissed at noon Wednesday. All after-school activities are canceled. The Rebels' home game with Chocowinity Southside has been moved to Sept. 21.

When Matthew ravaged eastern North Carolina in 2016 and left numerous communities flooded in its wake, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association extended the season by a week. The Association has not made a formal announcement ahead of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to bring high winds with its landfall, which could be Thursday evening or early Friday morning somewhere along the coastline between South Carolina and Virginia.