Lake Norman & Mooresville

Teams, officials look to regroup after last week's winter storm

Last week's snowstorm had a big impact on high school athletics across the Lake Norman area.

With schools closed for most of the week, games and practices had to be suspended, causing coaches to lose irreplaceable teaching time as I-Meck Conference play gets heated with less than a month left in the regular season.

The storm, which closed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Mooresville Graded Schools through Wednesday and Iredell-Statesville Schools all week, also left athletic directors and coaches scrambling to reschedule games.

What has made that task even more challenging is that the winter storm comes at exam time for local high schools.

"It's a nightmare," said Lake Norman High athletic director Steve Rankin. "We all get frustrated, but safety comes first."

CMS originally had scheduled exams for last week but had to move them to Jan. 14 and Jan. 18-20. Mooresville Graded and Iredell-Statesville Schools also had exams this week.

All three school systems don't allow teams to play the night before exams, meaning all sports have been affected.

"There's definitely a big impact," said North Mecklenburg athletic director Kevin Wilson.

Wilson said that not being able to practice during snow days, because of CMS guidelines, can be hard on all teams, especially on wrestlers' strict workouts.

ISS allows teams to hold non-mandatory practices based on road conditions, but Lake Norman squads weren't able to get back in the gym until Thursday.

As of late last week, Rankin said he was still working out details to reschedule the Wildcats' game originally planned for Jan. 10 against Hough. North Meck rescheduled its game against Mooresville to Jan. 26.

Athletic directors are able to schedule four basketball games in a week only twice a season, if needed, having to play one game on a Saturday. Hopewell had a bye early last week.

Rankin, who says having schools from three districts in the I-Meck can make it challenging to reschedule games, said he hopes to get in all conference games before the tournament so the Wildcats don't have to forgo playing.

He also knows anything can happen with winter just getting under way. "I have a sneaky feeling we aren't done with snow yet," said Rankin.