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High school playoffs rescheduled for next week

Downed trees lay across Laurelton Drive in Mastic

Downed trees lay across Laurelton Drive in Mastic Beach after superstorm Sandy caused much flooding and damage across much of Long Island. (Oct. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

High school playoffs in Nassau and Suffolk have been rescheduled to begin next week but weather and safety issues could lead to further postponements, officals say.

Football playoffs games will be played Friday and Saturday, conditions permitting. Other playoffs, including soccer and field hockey, would begin Tuesday in Nassau and Wednesday in Suffolk.

"The safety of our athletes is paramount," said Ed Cinelli, executive director of Suffolk sports. "Nothing is set in stone in any of these schedules. It's a very difficult process and everything is very tentative."

Suffolk posted its schedule of football games for next Friday and Saturday on its web site (, but Nassau has not determined sites and times. The details for the football playoffs this weekend are being worked out.

"We are only going to set up this upcoming weekend for the football schedule," said Nassau executive director of athletics Nina Van Erk. "We have time to figure out the rest of the football schedule and it is our hope that we can have that in place by Tuesday. But we have to get the other sports scheduled and finished by Nov. 13 and 14 so they can participate in the respective state tournaments.

"It is our hope that we will be playing football next weekend," Van Erk said. "Any subsequent schedules, including the Long Island championships will be determined later."

Boys and girls soccer, field hockey and boys and girls volleyball playoff schedules are being finalized for next week and both counties also hope to stage their cross-country championship meet.

"We will make the best decisions we can under these extraordinary circumstances," Van Erk said. Those circumstances include: whether or not schools are able to re-open; transportation to and from events, a serious issue in light of the gasoline crisis and the major safety issues with the roads and the lights that are not functioning properly; field conditions; the availability of officials; field availability, and the personal situations of the athletes in a region that has seen so much destruction of property.

There is equal uncertainty in the Catholic leagues, where the brackets for the first round of CHSFL football games are set, but not the dates, times or sites. The NSCHSAA has not announced dates for the resumption of its playoffs in the other sports.

NSCHSAA president Don Buckley, also the athletic director at St. Anthony's, said an agreement was reached to push back state championship one week to the weekend of Nov. 17 for boys and girls soccer and girls volleyball.

"But even that is subject to many factors," Buckley said. "Right now, everything is on hold until at least Monday and after that, it's day to day. Some of our schools still don't have power and the kids are not practicing. We want to make sure they have enough practices before we resume the playoffs."

With Gregg Sarra

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