Early storm, Hurricane Irene could affect Gilman and Calvert Hall football openers

Despite the threat of a battering from Hurricane Irene — Saturday afternoon seems to be the consensus projected arrival time — this weekend, a couple of key prep football openers are still scheduled to be played.

However, due to an expected non-hurricane related deluge on Thursday, Gilman athletic director Tim Holley says a move of the Greyhounds' contest against Maryland Christian (Aug. 26, 4 p.m.) from their home grass field in Roland Park to a turf field is being considered.

"We have made some preliminary inquiries," Holley said. "If we get a significant amount of rain on Thursday, we don't want to play on our grass and destroy it for the rest of season."

Holley added that he had not heard back from the other schools regarding the possible move.

On the other hand, defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion Calvert Hall, which is supposed to travel to Bel Air to face John Carroll, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m., would like to shift the game to its turf field in Towson.

"We could move the game here and play either Saturday or Sunday," Calvert Hall athletic director Lou Eckerl said. "It would be a lot easier to play it here. We won't be flooded."

Executive director Rick Diggs said that the MIAA would not mandate postponing or moving any games.

"We leave it up to the individual schools," Diggs said. "We also have a contingency plan if too many games are missed, sort of like happened two years ago with all the blizzards (in the winter of 2009-2010). We just canceled the rest of the season and used the records as they stood, and then everybody made the playoffs from there."

Of course, that was mainly for basketball.

Football, with the A Conference planning its first-ever playoff this fall, would have a major problem if too many games are canceled, Diggs conceded.

Baltimore County athletics coordinator Ron Belinko said that, unless all county schools are shut down, it would be business as usual for interscholastic competition.

"It's like any other time (when bad weather is forecast)," he said. "It's up to the schools to decide."

The area public school football teams — Dulaney, Loch Raven and Towson — don't begin play until Sept. 2.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad