CHULA — Tiftarea Academy is getting an unexpected football vacation.
The Panthers were scheduled to play at Frederica Academy, but Hurricane Dorian has ended those plans. Tiftarea announced Monday morning the game was off.
With Dorian currently a Category 4 hurricane, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced mandatory evacuations of Georgia’s coastal counties: Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh. Frederica, located on St. Simons Island, is in Glynn County. Evacuations began Monday at noon.
Frederica Academy Monday morning on Facebook that it is cancelling classes for the week. Previously, all classes and activities were cancelled through Thursday.
Head coach Erik Soliday said he had been afraid of the game’s cancellation all weekend. Monday made it official.
Soliday said he looked into picking up another game Friday, but Georgia teams have their schedules set, making it impossible to pick one up. With Dorian potentially set to impact Florida, schools from the Sunshine State are out, too.
While 0-2, Frederica Academy was expected to provide a strong challenge for the Panthers.
“We needed a tough game,” he said. Frederica had lost to Charlton County (20-7) and Valwood (27-13). Soliday said many Frederica starters were out in the latter game. Frederica is the defending state champion in GISA Class AAA champions.
The Panthers will now wait until Sept. 13 for their next game, scheduled to be at Westfield. A win there would be a historic one.
Tiftarea is on the brink of winning its 250th game. It would be the second milestone for the Panthers this season; Soliday picked up win No. 200 last Friday against Terrell Academy.