Hurricane Ian’s expected impact leads to high schools switching game schedules

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 1:01 AM EDT
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COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The impact of Hurricane Ian is expected to be felt across southwest Virginia Friday. After seeing what the forecast had in store, Grayson County Public Schools, Radford City Schools and Alleghany Highlands Public Schools leaders made the decision Thursday morning to reschedule Friday night’s Covington High School vs. Grayson County High School and Alleghany High School vs. Radford High School games to Thursday.

“The storm sped up and of course the forecast changed. Tomorrow night was just going to be a no. We weren’t going to get our kids, and our bus driver and our fans out tomorrow night in that kind of weather,” said Kelly Wilmore, superintendent of Grayson County Public Schools.

“We all watched the weather, kept a close idea on it, how the situation was developing and wanted to do the right thing,” said Bryan Stinespring, activities director for Alleghany Highlands Public Schools.

The quick switch not only impacted the teams, but also the traveling fans.

“We had to make arrangements to get off work, had to text my wife, she had to get off work, she’s a school teacher herself,” said Joseph Poole, whose son is a senior on the Grayson County High School football team.

“This morning, although I thought it would be moved because of the hurricane,” said Michael Hayner, while being asked when he heard the game was rescheduled. Hayner’s grandson plays for Covington High School’s football team.

But rain or shine, the fans said they were going to show up either way.

“I’d have been here umbrellas or rain gear or whatever,” laughed Hayner.

“My kid out there is a senior and I vowed to do my best to not miss a single game, we wanted to get out here and support all the boys,” said Poole.

School leaders said being able to pull this off was all about communication and adjusting.

“There was never a problem. There was never a yes or a no, it was always what was in the best interest to try to be able to play this game,” said Wilmore.

“There’s a lot of people that had to make some adjustments and stepped up to fill some roles, so I’m really proud of how it all came together,” said Stinespring.

WDBJ7 will have all the highlights from both games during our weekly Friday Football Extra.