Columbia County coaches were as surprised as anyone Friday when Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue asked schools to cancel classes and extracurricular activities Monday and Tuesday.
"My heart just about stopped when I heard that at 3:30 Friday," Greenbrier head coach Mickey Derrick said.
After the initial shock subsided, coaches began to realize the consequences of such a decision.
Now in the middle of region play, many football teams could not afford to lose two days of practice.
Derrick said a quick call to the Georgia High School Association confirmed that Monday and Tuesday games were cancelled or postponed, but coaches could decide whether to practice.
At Harlem, the Bulldogs are recovering from a loss to Thomson and welcome the much-needed break.
"I gave my boys the day off," Harlem head coach Jimmie Lewis said. "All we do on Mondays is look at films, so I said it's more important for my crowd to rest."
Derrick decided to practice Monday and liked the results.
"We practiced when school was out for Labor Day," Derrick said. "We had a great practice then. This has been one of the best practices we had all year."
Both Harlem and Greenbrier returned to the practice field Tuesday, but with no classes, the teams were able to avoid the afternoon heat by starting practice early.
"I know on the coaches it is easier. I'm sure it's that way for the players, too," Lewis said. "It will be kind of good to practice in the morning."
In Columbia County, at least four games were scheduled for Tuesday, including a softball region match between Evans and Lakeside. A middle school football game against Riverside and Evans Middle also was postponed. A tentative makeup date has been set for Oct. 18.
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