CHAPEL HILL – Although none of the athletic programs in the Wilmington area were directly affected by Hurricane Matthew, part of the state continues to deal with effects from the storm and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has made changes to upcoming playoff dates for the fall sports season.
The NCHSAA Board of Directors and Commissioner Que Tucker made the difficult decision to push the start of the football playoffs back one week following historic flooding in many parts of eastern North Carolina.
“The logistics of moving the fall championships dates, especially this close to the events are complex. However, we must do everything in our power to do what is best for our student-athletes in the state,” said Tucker. “Keeping our young people safe as we try to minimize risk of injury must be paramount in our decisions.”
In essence, this will give Wilmington area football programs an extra week of rest and practice before the start of the postseason.
While safety for athletes is of the utmost importance, according to the NCHSAA release, volleyball and soccer programs have the toughest change as state championship dates remain the same, while forcing qualifying teams to have quick turnarounds and potential long road trips.
In volleyball, the two teams advancing to the state championship will have to play six matches in 11 days. The opening round is set for Wednesday, Oct. 26, with the second round the following day.
The first four rounds of the boys soccer state tournament will be played over eight days, beginning on Sat. Nov. 5.
Below is a list of changes by sport. Girls’ golf and cross-country will be held as scheduled.
Seeding: Nov. 12 (changed from Nov. 5)
First Round: Nov. 18
Second Round: Nov. 25
Third Round: Dec. 2
Regionals: Dec. 9
State Championships: Dec. 16 and 17 (changed from Dec. 9 and 10)
Seeding: Nov. 3 (moved from Oct. 31)
First Round: Nov. 5
Second Round: Nov. 8
Third Round: Nov. 10
Fourth Round: Nov.12
State Championship: Nov. 19 (No Change)
Seeding: Oct. 25 (moved from Oct. 19)
First Round: Oct. 26
Second Round: Oct. 27
Third Round: Oct. 29
Fourth Round: Nov. 1
Semifinals: Nov. 3
State Championship: Nov. 5 (No Change)
Individual Regionals: Oct. 21-22 (No Change)
Individual State Championships: Oct. 28-29 (No Change)
Dual-Team reporting deadline Oct. 19 (changed from Oct. 17)
Seeding: Oct. 24
First Round: Oct. 25
Second Round: Nov. 1
Third Round: Nov. 3
Regionals: Nov. 9
State Championships: Nov. 12 (Changed from Nov. 5)