02/14/14 — Weather causes more scheduling dilemmas

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Weather causes more scheduling dilemmas

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 14, 2014 1:49 PM


Jabo Fulghum remembers practicing in the sleet a few years ago.

In 30 seasons, though, the Eastern Wayne head varsity baseball coach said he could never recall an opening day getting canceled due to snow.

"Unbelievable," Fulghum said.

Indeed, the week has been unbelievable.

Mother Nature delivered a striking blow -- three consecutive days of snow, sleet and freezing rain that coated most of eastern North Carolina and created hazardous driving conditions. Wayne County Public Schools officials opted to keep students and teachers off the roads on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

And today, too.

The aftermath has caused a mess, especially in basketball.

Just two of the seven Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference teams -- Southern Wayne and Eastern Wayne -- each have two games remaining on their respective schedules. The N.C. High School Athletic Association announced schools could play four games next week, but must conclude play by Friday, Feb. 21.

Fulghum said late Thursday evening that today's games at Charles B. Aycock have been moved to Saturday. The JV girls tip off at 2 p.m.

Southern Wayne entertains J.H. Rose in a varsity twinbill Saturday at 4 p.m. The Saints travel to Eastern Wayne for a varsity only matchup Monday. Tip-off is 5 p.m.

Athletics directors from the ECC schools voted Thursday afternoon in favor of keeping the season-ending conference tournament, which begins next Tuesday. They are meeting again this morning to finalize plans and discuss the possibility of doubling up first-round games depending on the final placement of each team.

"It is just an unfortunate set of circumstances for everyone," Southern Wayne athletics director David Lee said.

Principals from Rosewood and Princeton met with administrators from the Wayne County and Johnston County boards of education this morning to receive permission to play their Carolina 1-A Conference games tonight. A decision is not expected until this afternoon.

Earlier this week, Carolina Conference athletics directors decided to push their season-ending tournament back one day to Tuesday. They also agreed that if the schools cannot complete regular-season play by Monday, the teams would be seeded for the tournament based on winning percentage.

Opening-round begins Tuesday for the girls and Wednesday for the boys at the top two-seeded teams each night. The semifinals and championships are Thursday and Friday, respectively, at Kornegay Arena on the University of Mount Olive campus.

"It's unprecedented," Rosewood AD Robert Britt said. "I've never experienced anything like this. You make decisions on what you think is best for the kids and we thought it would be beneficial if we play the tournament."

Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference athletics directors met this morning to discuss their situation. Each school has two regular-season games remaining in league play.

Goldsboro was scheduled to host North Lenoir today and Greene Central on Saturday. The Cougars (13-7 overall), North Lenoir and South Lenoir share second place in the conference standings at 4-4. North Lenoir (9-13) currently holds the playoff tiebreaker with a combined 3-0 record against the Cougars and Blue Devils.

Kinston's boys and girls each need just one victory to sweep the inaugural regular-season championships.