Written by Matt Wixon
Ice, winter weather throw wrench in playoff plans for players, coaches
DeSoto coach Claude Mathis spent part of Friday finishing preparation for his team’s playoff matchup with Euless Trinity. In that way, it was a typical countdown-to-the-showdown kind of day.
But little else was typical Friday. Streets were covered with ice, kids were sledding down hills on cardboard and trash-can lids, and neither DeSoto nor Trinity knew where the game would be played. Or what day, for that matter.
“This is a first for me,” Mathis said. “I’ve never had to deal with anything like this.”
A lot of coaches were dealing with it Friday, when Dallas-area residents awoke to the effects of sleet and freezing rain. Winter Storm Cleon blew in Thursday night, and instead of simply delivering some football weather, it brought conditions suitable for the Winter Olympics.
The storm also created a scheduling merry-go-round that spun throughout Friday morning and afternoon. All of the Dallas-area football games scheduled for Friday, including the University Interscholastic League’s regional finals, were postponed.
Most teams will play Monday, including DeSoto (13-0) and Trinity (11-2). Their Class 5A Division I Region I final, previously scheduled for Saturday afternoon, will be played at 1 p.m. Monday at Waco ISD Stadium. It’s one of six UIL matchups featuring area teams on a day usually associated with pro football.\
Allen (13-0) is the only team scheduled to play Saturday, and that’s not a certainty for the defending 5A Division I state champs. Allen’s matchup against Spring Westfield (13-0) is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Austin, but if the roads are too icy Saturday morning, the game will be played Monday. If Allen does play Saturday in Austin, temperatures are expected to be in the mid 30s at kickoff.
The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ state championship games, previously scheduled for Friday and Saturday, will be Monday and Tuesday.
First Baptist (13-0), which will play Bryan Brazos Christian (12-0) in the TAPPS Division III title game at 6 p.m. Monday in Corsicana, didn’t practice Friday, and coach Jason Lovvorn said the weather would probably keep the team from practicing Saturday. It could be a disadvantage for First Baptist because Brazos Christian, which is south of where the ice storm hit, will have more practice time.
“The positive side is that we got four good days of practice in Monday through Thursday,” Lovvorn said. “All of the teams playing this time of year, they’re able to overcome these things.”
UIL teams that win Monday will have another obstacle to overcome with only four days to get ready for state semifinals next Saturday. They would have more time to prepare if games could be played Sunday, when afternoon temperatures are expected to be above freezing, but the UIL doesn’t allow games to be played on Sundays.
The UIL said Friday that it would not grant waivers to the Sunday rule. The UIL also said that games needed to be completed by Monday night because of a rule that requires five days between games.
Fortunately, temperatures are expected to be slightly above freezing Monday, so the weather will be good for those games.
Or at least better.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.
Football playoff postponements
DeSoto vs. Euless Trinity: Saturday’s game was postponed and rescheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Waco ISD Stadium.
Spring Westfield vs. Allen: Coach Tom Westerberg said that defending Class 5A Division I state champion Allen is still planning to play at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Austin as scheduled. If they find that the roads are too bad early Saturday morning, Westerberg said they would move the game to 2 p.m. Monday at the same location.
Cedar Hill vs. Denton Ryan: Saturday’s game was postponed, and they will play Monday at Apogee Stadium in Denton. It will probably start at 3 or 4 p.m., according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.
Denton Guyer vs. Birdville: Saturday’s game was postponed and rescheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Justin Northwest.
Wylie vs. Highland Park: Was postponed Friday and rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Allen.
Aledo vs. Wichita Falls: Aledo coach Tim Buchanan said in an email that the game has been postponed until 5 p.m. Monday, with the location still to be determined.
Gladewater vs. Argyle: Was postponed Friday and rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at Panther Stadium Midway
- The Mansfield ISD Spring Creek Holiday Classic was canceled.
- Friday’s games in the Jesuit Knights of Columbus tournament were canceled. They hope to play Saturday.
- Saturday’s games in the Sanger tournament were canceled.
- Frisco Lone Star’s game at Decatur on Saturday was canceled.
The Aubrey tournament was canceled.