BONIFAY, FL For five Holmes senior softball players, they are now faced with a terrible decision. Skip their team's 1A state softball semifinal, or skip their own high school graduation.
The 25-5 Blue Devils played their way into the 1A state semifinal game against 24-4 Wewahitchka, with that game set for Wednesday down in Vero Beach. Holmes was loading up and heading south today, the Gators planning on travelling Tuesday.
Those plans changed drastically though, when because of severe weather in Vero this week, the FHSAA pushed back the 1A through 4A finals from Wednesday to Monday, the 21st.
We spoke with Holmes head coach Stephanie Pippin Monday morning, shortly after she received the news of the postponement.
"You know we understand the weather because you definitely can't control the weather." Pippin told us. "But it just happens to be our high school graduation is Monday the 21st. So we've been trying to make some phone calls and see if there's anything they can do, and right now we're just kind of, the plan is to leave on Saturday. The seniors were actually with me at the First Baptist Church for Baccalaureate practice, so I had to take them out to the vestibule and talk to them. And of course that's a big decision to have to give up your high school graduation to play a softball game, so they're a little torn."
The FHSAA, certainly not wanting kids to have to choose between the game and graduation, and trying to be extremely flexible, allowed the two schools to try and play the game in the Panhandle by Saturday.
However, by late Monday afternoon, coach Pippin had confirmed to us the two programs could not decide on a neutral site and date this week that worked for all involved.
So the game will be played Monday down in Vero Beach. And that means five Holmes seniors will miss graduation Monday. Coach Pippin telling me they've already made that decision, to travel with the team and play Monday.