The games will go on at Chariho.
When is still the looming question,
Monday’s storm couldn’t have been timed worse as far as the Rhode Island Interscholastic League is concerned. The Division I volleyball regular season was supposed to conclude that night and the boys and girls soccer and field hockey playoffs were scheduled to start Tuesday.
With homes flooded, trees down, power out and schools closed, sports were put on hold with the hope they can return Thursday, especially at Chariho High School.
“It’s going to be let’s try and go Thursday,” Chariho athletic director Mike Shiels said. “Worst-case scenario is Friday, but that will get hairy for us. I don’t know how we’re going to work it out.”
Chariho is scheduled to have three home games Thursday. The middle school girls soccer team is set to host Bay View in the RIPCOA State Championship in the afternoon on the football field; the field hockey team starts their drive toward a Division II title on the baseball field at 4 p.m. against Cumberland; and the girls soccer team is hosting Davies at 6 p.m. on the football field in the preliminary round of the Division III playoffs.
In addition, the girls volleyball team plays its regular-season finale Thursday night at Coventry.
There was no school in Chariho Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and Shiels said if school was closed Thursday, all sports would be off.
That scenario would cause issues. The volleyball team is set to play its Division I playoff opener Friday at either Mount St. Charles or East Providence; the field hockey team could play Friday, but if it won it would be back in action in the semifinals the next night; if the soccer team won, they’d either have to play early Friday because the football team is hosting Warwick Veterans at 7 p.m.
And the school isn’t about to give up a home game if the RIIL asked.
“The teams earned them,” Shiels said. “I don’t want to say ‘Hey, we’ll go away.’ We’ll just figure something out and move it all around.”
“The answer is yes, but based on the situation I don’t know if that would happen” said RIIL Assistant Director Mike Lunney when asked if the league could force a school to play games if it was still out of school. “It’s too early to tell. We’ve been on the phone with schools the last couple of days; we’re weighing the information and dates we have open and we’re seeing what we can do.”
Shiels went to the field Tuesday morning and said it was in good shape.
The Chargers – all their outdoor teams - will need it to be in good shape because after not practicing for three days, they’ll need any advantage a home field provides.
But for some of the teams, competition isn’t the No. 1 concern.
“We’ve had one of our players evacuated to the middle school shelter and a whole bunch are without power,” girls soccer coach Brittney Godbout said. “Talking to some of the girls, they’re concerned about jumping right into the playoffs; it will be tough because obviously we can’t have practice if there’s no school.”
“We don’t even know who’s healthy yet,” Chariho football coach Mike Kelly said. “A lot of these guys have to be cleared and the communication’s been tough. It’s been very difficult to prepare and it looks like we’re going to have one day, at best, to get ready.”
For now, the big picture isn’t even in the picture. The sports schedule is going to be treated by the old coaches’ cliché – day to day.
“If we’re not in [Thursday], we won’t be playing,” Shiels said. “So hopefully we’re back Thursday.”