AHSAA events stopped cold

Published 9:44 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, announced Wednesday night that all AHSAA athletic events would be postponed immediately due to probable cases of swine flu that have shut down three school systems in the Huntsville area. Affected events in the Black Belt area included Friday’s area softball tournament at Demopolis High School and Friday’s third round baseball playoff series between Sweet Water and Talladega County Central. Other area athletes affected by the changes include the DHS golf team and Demopolis High School track team that landed 10 runners in the state meet in Gulf Shores.

“Right now, we are being advised by our Medical Advisory Committee to shut down all activities until further notice,” Savarese said. “We hope to be able to resume activities by next Tuesday, but right now we must study the situation and take it one day at a time.”

That means the AHSAA state track and field championships scheduled for May 1-2 at Gulf Shores and Troy will be rescheduled. All other post-season activities scheduled through Monday May 4 are also being postponed until further notice including baseball, soccer, softball and golf.

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“This is not something we want to do,” Savarese said. “Right now, we want to be cautious.”

“They were disappointed, but that just gives us more time to work and practice,” DHS track coach Rudy Griffin said of his runners’ reaction to the delay. “I can understand where (the AHSAA) is coming from on the cautionary side of it. A lot of people aren’t going to be happy and a lot of people are. For me personally, it’s whatever is best for the kids and the larger number.”

We hope to have everything rescheduled by early next week — as soon as we have more information from the State Department of Health and our Medical Advisory Committee.”

High school athletic activities were shut down in Texas earlier Thursday due to confirmed cases of the swine influenza (H1N1), a type A flu virus that is affecting the U.S.

The AHSAA released a tentative schedule for its postponed events Friday. The state track and field championships are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday, May 7-8 for classes 1A through 3A while the 4A through 6A classes will compete Friday and Saturday, May 8-9.

The third round of the high school baseball playoffs is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, May 5 and 6. The semi-finals series will take place as scheduled on Friday and Saturday. All sub-state golf tournaments are to set to be played May 5.