Bay boys soccer soldiers on after Hurricane Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Thanks to help from near and far, many fall high school sports teams disrupted by Hurricane Michael were able to finish their seasons.

Winter sports seasons are just beginning, but that hasn't been an easy task either.

Boys high school soccer teams played their first games last week.

Bay is off to a 2-1 start, beating South Walton and Wakulla, but falling 3-1 to Arnold on Saturday afternoon.

Home games are hosted at Chapman Field at Tommy Oliver Stadium, but even though the schedule is unaffected, everything else is.

The Tornadoes been forced to move practices to Frank Nelson Park. Outdoor equipment like goals were destroyed. Tryouts were delayed by three weeks.

Donations of time and money have helped them play on, but the biggest challenge now is having enough people to fill the field.

"We've lost a couple of our kids. One of them just moved to Miami. He's one of our starting players," assistant coach Dan Haligas said. "I don't even know where half of them are. Soccer is a game of eleven and we started the game with twelve. A lot of us are out of our homes, obviously, like the rest of the city."

Looking out from the stands at Tommy Oliver on Saturday afternoon, blue tarps still dominate the sight line. Although the Tornadoes lost, Haligas echoed the common refrain from players, coaches, and parents since sports routines resumed.

"I think in general, it's good doing something other than looking at all this rubbish, all the piles [of debris.]"