PEMBROKE — For the second straight game The University of North Carolina at Pembroke football team will sit out.
The matchup at Tusculum, scheduled for Saturday, was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. According to the UNCP football website, the decision was made on Wednesday morning due to the forecast by the National Weather Service that detailed a severe flooding threat to eastern North Carolina through Thursday.
The decision stems from the school’s announcement that classes are canceled for the week, with Monday being the earliest they resume. Coach Shane Richardson says the team will have to get through this period first before they can come together again for meetings and practices.
“We are trying to get guys back on campus this weekend, but we do not have the OK yet in terms of university assessments to give us the ‘all-clear’ sign,” said Richardson.
As far as safety is concerned, he mentioned that all of his team is accounted for and able to get to a secure location.
The players and coaches made it through the storm safely, but the same can’t be said for the UNCP football facilities. After Florence passed, pictures of major damage to one the field goal posts quickly surfaced on social media. Richardson confirmed that the photos of the leaning post are, in fact, accurate and it will be something they look into.
This marks the second cancellation for the Braves (1-1) this season, which means at the moment, they’ll be down two games at the end of the season. There’s seven scheduled games left and the NCAA requires teams to complete at least 10 to qualify for the postseason. Richardson says he will pursue an option to submit a waiver “due to unforeseen circumstances,” that should allow them playoff eligibility, if the Braves are in position later in the year.
Richardson and Co. will have some rust to knock off when they do suit up again. They haven’t played since their 51-6 drubbing of Elizabeth City State on September 8.
He says the two weeks off shouldn’t be a hindrance but rather, should ignite the group for the rest of the year.
“We should be more ready than ever,” he said. “There’s limited opportunities to play on Saturdays and we have to take advantage of them.”
The Braves are scheduled to play next on September 29 when they host Newberry.
Donnell Coley can be reached at 910-416-5165 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Sportsinmyveins.