Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc all over the state last week, uprooting trees, families and sports teams.
Area schools serving as shelters were bursting at the seems with evacuees who fled their homes for safety.
Meanwhile major league sports teams like the Tampa Bay Rays played three games as the “home” team at Citi Bank Field in New York, while the Jacksonville Jaguars were forced stay the week in Houston after their game there Sept. 10 because the conditions in Jacksonville were deteriorating.
Add in cancellation of all games by all of the state colleges and rescheduling of the opening game of the NFL season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Miami Dolphins and you can start to see the disruption to our sporting routine.
The storm also disrupted local sporting events and high school football and youth sports all across the state. The Unitied Soccer Association had two weekends of games interrupted as some areas weren’t as lucky as others with respect to Irma’s impact.
All sports at the Center of Anna Maria Island were canceled for Irma and have yet to be rescheduled. The youth soccer league looks to get the fall season started Sept. 23, while championship night in the adult flag football league hopes to kick off Sept. 21, but a final decision had not been made at press time.
West Bradenton and the island definitely dodged the proverbial bullet thanks to Irma’s last-minute jog to the east, and the time spent hunkered down with family and friends serves as a reminder for what is really important and valued.
Next up is Hurricane Maria, forecast to hit the already devastated islands of Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. By the middle of the week, Maria will eye the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
It’s too early to judge whether Florida will be impacted by Maria, but I wouldn’t put all the sandbags, plywood and batteries away just yet. Lee is just behind her in the Atlantic.
There were no horseshoes pitched Sept. 9 or Sept. 13 due to Hurricane Irma, but the players did manage to get in some action Sept. 16.
Walker Neil Hennessey posted the only 3-0 pool-play record and was the day’s outright champion.
Play gets underway at 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.