Local teams return to practice following Hurricane Idalia

WWSB ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 8:59 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:23 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - For many student athletes across the Suncoast, Thursday brought a sense of normalcy again.

It was the first day back at practice for our local high school fall sports programs.

Both Manatee and Sarasota counties were out of school on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week due to Hurricane Idalia.

Multiple local athletic directors say the expectation is for players to be in game day mode.

“When something’s taken away, you miss it,” Pete Dombroski, Athletic Director, Venice High School, said. “It’s apart of your life. You really enjoy it, and when you get back to it you’re excited. I think the level of play and excitement will be up there because they’ve been away for a while.”

“I think it’s going to be high intensity,” Rod Dragash, Athletic Director, Riverview High School, said. You know, having two days off is not necessarily a bad thing. We had some guys that were kind of dinged up, but I think having that two day rest is good.”

However, not all of our local teams are taking the field.

The highly anticipated matchup between Palmetto and Braden River originally scheduled for Friday has been postponed.

Tigers head coach Rashad West tells ABC7 the decision comes after the administrative staffs at the schools told he and Pirates head coach Curt Bradley that this is for the best as families continue to clean up from the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia.

“All of these are case-by-case bases,” Palmetto High School head football coach, Rashad West, said. It appears that we’ve come the conclusion as a group that postponing and looking for a future date is what’s best for both programs.”

The replacement date for this matchup is to be determined.

Once we know, we’ll update you both on-air and online.

ABC7 reported earlier that the Cardinal Mooney Cougars and Lakewood Ranch Mustangs football game scheduled for Friday, September 1st, was also postponed. We have learned that since our initial report, the staffs of both schools have decided to actually move forward with gameplay and this matchup will happen as originally scheduled.