The remnants of Hurricane Ivan -- and subsequent threat of tornadoes -- forced the postponement of all seven football games involving teams from Loudoun and Fauquier counties scheduled for Friday.
What effect pushing the games into next week will have on the players, some of whom will be forced into a much shorter than normal turnaround before playing again, is what concerns coaches most.
"It's Mother Nature, and we can't control that," Liberty Coach Tommy Buzzo said. "But that doesn't make it any less frustrating. Everything we do is planned: which days we go full speed; when we work offense, defense and special teams; which days we go lighter or just walk through our game plan. And any change to that disrupts what you're trying to accomplish."
Eleventh-ranked Liberty, Broad Run and Loudoun County will be the hardest hit. Each is scheduled to make up last week's games on Tuesday and then play again Saturday, trimming what is usually a seven-day recovery and preparation period to four days. Fauquier, scheduled to play tomorrow and Saturday, faces a five-day turnaround.
Dominion, Heritage, Park View and Stone Bridge each was scheduled to be off next week. Loudoun Valley and Potomac Falls had a bye in their schedule Friday. "On top of everything else, there's no way of knowing if your team is going to be as mentally ready and have the same intensity for a game on Tuesday as it would [Friday] when you had prepared all week to play," Broad Run Coach Ken Belchik said. "I believe our team is mature enough to handle the changes, but you never know until you get them out there."
Coaches say it is also a disadvantage when one team has more preparation time than another leading into a game, no matter how slight the margin.
"We'll play Tuesday-Saturday, and our next opponent, Culpeper, is scheduled to go Monday-Saturday," Buzzo said. "And that one additional day of preparation could be a big advantage for them. But all you can do as a team is try to stay focused and worry about the things you can control. For us, that means continuing to work on our timing and our chemistry in practice so we can fix the things we didn't do well our first game before we get back out there again."