Area teams on schedule for Friday night

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 2004

[9/16/04]After days of nervously watching Hurricane Ivan’s progress through the Gulf of Mexico, most football teams around Mississippi will suit up as scheduled on Friday night.

Only a handful of schools around the state, most along the coast near where Ivan made landfall this morning, have postponed or canceled their games this weekend. All four Warren County high schools will play as scheduled.

Vicksburg High was the school most likely to be affected by Ivan. The Gators play at South Pike on Friday. Most of west central Mississippi was spared the worst of Ivan’s wrath, however. The storm came ashore near Gulf Shores, Ala., with 135 mph winds and pounding rain.

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The most severe part of the hurricane struck farther east, in Alabama and Florida. Magnolia, where South Pike is located, was on the edge of Ivan’s outer bands and was on the less intense western edge of the storm.

“I know that coach down there wants to play and he’ll hold out to the last minute,” Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens said. “We’re ready to play.”

Eight high school games were reported to have been canceled or postponed as of Thursday night, including a slew of contests involving teams in the Associated Press Top 20.

No. 5 Gulfport moved its game against Hancock to Saturday, while No. 4 Oak Grove, No. 7 Meridian, No. 12 Picayune and No. 17 Starkville all canceled their games. Weir, ranked No. 2 in the Little 10 poll, also postponed its game against Ethel. The teams were scheduled to play tonight, but will now play on Friday.

The junior college schedule was also shifted from tonight to Saturday. Hinds Community College, ranked No. 9 in the country, will host No. 16 Jones at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State are on schedule to play their games on Saturday, and a decision was expected later today on whether Auburn and LSU would play their scheduled game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Southern Miss’ game against California was postponed on Tuesday.