Playoffs will resume Tuesday

Published 10:20 am Monday, May 4, 2009

High school sports playoff games will resume Tuesday after being postponed since April 29 because of the threat of swine flu, and some local coaches said the delay has benefited their teams.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association announced Monday that sanctioned events will follow the tentative schedule released May 1. Baseball, softball, golf and soccer playoffs resume Tuesday, and the state track and field championships for all classifications will be held May 7-9 at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex.

“While we apologize for the disruption of our original playoff schedule, we made the safe decision for the children of this state and also ensured that students at all our member schools would have the opportunity to participate in our post-season athletic events,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said in a press release.

Some softball area tournaments were completed before the postponement and others had begun but not finished, but most will be played Tuesday.

Jemison coach Leighsa Robinson said her team has had a chance to recover from sickness and injury.

Pitcher Brandi Baker took a line drive off her knee in a practice April 30, and Robinson said she won’t know until game time whether Baker will be available.

Several Panthers have also suffered from sickness, but Robinson said all but center fielder Amber Simmons should be recovered enough to play.

Robinson said she has seen no negative effects of the postponed games.

“As far as everything else, they’ve worked really hard in practice because they know now that if you lose, you go home,” she said.

Jemison’s season will come down to their first game Tuesday. The Panthers defeated Holt but lost to host Bibb County on April 29. The top two teams from each area advance to the regional round of the playoffs, and Jemison at 2:30 p.m. will play the loser of the Bibb County-Calera game for the right to advance.

Chilton County, along with Demopolis and Selma, will compete in the Class 5A, Area 5 tournament beginning at 9:30 a.m. Maplesville and Verbena will visit Holy Spirit beginning at 11 a.m. for the Class 1A, Area 6 tournament. Isabella will host Thorsby and Reeltown for the Class 2A, Area 6 tournament beginning at noon.

No local teams are still competing in baseball or soccer, but Chilton County golfers Blake Jenkins and Forrest Knight on Tuesday will compete as individuals in a sub-state tournament beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Limestone Springs Golf Course in Oneonta.

CCHS coach David Moore said the postponements have allowed Jenkins and Knight to practice the course on May 2 and Monday.

“I think it may have worked out to their advantage,” Moore said.

Many local athletes will compete in the state track and field meet.