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Don't hit the 'panic button'

February 26, 2005|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

Washington County supervisor of athletics Ed Masood has been through enough snow days to know the key to handling them.

"You try not to hit the panic button and keep people calm," said Masood after Thursday's snowstorm forced the closing of Washington County schools Friday and the postponement of several basketball playoff games and the Class 2A-1A West Wrestling Tournament. "I did not make it snow. If I had my way, we'd be playing these games as scheduled. No one wants the weather to cooperate more than me."

By Friday morning at 11:10, the slate of basketball games had been rescheduled for today, and an e-mail sent out to county athletic directors.

"I beat my deadline by 50 minutes," Masood said.

The backup plan for the regional wrestling tournament at Fort Hill was put in place last weekend at the meeting to determine the tournament seedings.

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"One of the things we did was put in a provision for Plan A and Plan B," Masood said. "Plan A was for the tournament to run Friday and Saturday. Plan B was for it to be all day Saturday. If it snowed Saturday, Plan C was to get together to find out what to do before Monday when the state seedings (meeting) is."

Plan C will likely be unnecessary, as today's weather is expected to cooperate.

Coordinating the rescheduling of basketball playoff games proved to be a little more complicated.

"The first thing we have to do is coordinate with the officials' association," Masood said. "It worked out OK even though there's a Catholic school tournament tomorrow. We play as many games as possible as doubleheaders at one site, and they assign a crew and they do both games. We were able to accommodate that.

"You spend probably 2 1/2 hours on the phone trying get everything coordinated, then get it on paper, then make sure you don't create more conflicts, then check with the transportation office to make sure you have buses available, then when all is said and done you get the e-mail together."

By the time today turns into Sunday, the basketball playoffs should be back on their original schedule. Of course, that's no guarantee that the weather will keep cooperating - more snow is in the forecast for Sunday night on into Monday.

"The way everything is supposed to be, (the boys and girls tournament games) keep alternating," Masood said. "If we get blasted Sunday night and we go into Monday with no school ... it's like an atomic half-life, half the teams are gone and it becomes less critical for the remaining teams. There's not as many to have to deal with. We'll look at the Monday issue, and if there's no school, we'll try for doubleheaders on Tuesday and take it from there."

Because of MPSSAA rules, schools hosting doubleheaders today must clear the gym between games. Admission fees will be charged for each contest.

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