Storm threat forces changes to prep sports schedule

The wait will last a little longer for high school athletes.

With their season already starting nearly a month later than normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurricane Sally presents a new set of problems.

The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere between Louisiana and Alabama, but those effects will be felt in Northwest Florida.

Schools were closed Monday and will be closed again Tuesday, which means athletic-related activity is also canceled.

That havoc on the schedule has put the season opener for Navarre’s football team in jeopardy. Navarre is set to kick off the season Friday against Milton at 7:30 p.m. at Bennett C. Russell Stadium.

The Raiders began official practice Sept. 7 and were expected to go full pads for the first time today.

Because of school being canceled today and Tuesday, practice won’t happen, leaving the Raiders with just two days in full pads if they stick with a Friday kickoff.

“We’re already limited and now we’ve been limited even more,” Navarre head coach Jay Walls said.

Walls said he is considering a couple of options regarding this week’s game with the Panthers. He’s planning to discuss those ideas with Milton head coach Harry Lees.

“We could play Saturday just to give us an extra day to work in pads, or I’ve also thought about maybe making the Milton game a scrimmage,” Walls said. “If it was week three or four of the season, it wouldn’t be an issue. But because we would have limited time in pads this week, it might be a good idea to consider one of those options.”

Football isn’t the only sport impacted by the storm.

Navarre’s volleyball team was scheduled to have senior night Tuesday in its season-opening match against Milton.

The Raiders are planning to play Thursday against Gulf Breeze. Raider head coach Ryan Davenport said there is a good chance senior night will be Thursday as well.

“It’s definitely a hiccup, but everyone is in the same position,” Davenport said. “We just have to roll with it.”

The girls golf team won’t play Tuesday against Gulf Breeze. A decision hasn’t been made on on Thursday’s match against Catholic.

Navarre’s boys golf team isn’t playing Tuesday against Gulf Breeze. The Raiders are scheduled to play Thursday at Tiger Point against Gulf Breeze and Milton.

Navarre’s swim team is supposed to begin its season Wednesday against Fort Walton Beach and Milton. A decision on that meet has yet to be made.

The Raider cross-country team is set to begin its season Saturday at the Wildcat Invitational at the Ashton Brosnaham Complex. Meet time is 8 a.m. and is scheduled to go on as planned at the moment.

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