The concern about buses traveling on icy roads was a factor in postponing high school athletic events, but another reason that three of the four N.C. High School School Athletic Association were correctly postponed on Tuesday night was the prospect of young, inexperienced drivers taking the wheel, late at night and on hazardous roads.
Four of the eight schools that were scheduled to play in Fayetteville in the Eastern Regionals were not in school on Tuesday and the safety of the players and fans might have been in jeopardy if the games had been played.
East Carteret High explained the young driver problem during a N.C. High School Athletic Association realignment hearing a few years ago. The appeal was that inexperienced drivers late at night on highways flanked by canals is a potential disaster.
Several schools in the western part of the state have made similar explanations about young drivers on mountainous roads late at night.
Buses may be able to travel safely, but students still have to get home after the bus gets back.
Southwest Onslow and Jacksonville Northside were able to play Tuesday night, but the other games were postponed. The games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday or Thursday, creating tripleheaders instead of doubleheaders.
Wednesdays boys schedule at Fayetteville Crown Arena: 5:30 p.m. Kinston vs. Trinity (2A); 7 p.m. Havelock vs. Wilson Hunt (3A) and Orange vs. West Brunswick (3A).
Wednesdays girls schedule at Fayetteville Crown Coliseum: 5:30 p.m. Northern Nash vs. West Craven (3A); 7 p.m. Reidsville vs. East Bladen (2A); 8:30 p.m. Kinston vs. High Point High Point Andrews (2A).
The Chapel Hill girls will play Cameron Union Pines on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
East Carteret boys: North Carolina classifies most of its high school championships (4A, 3A, 2A, 1A), but this year it would have been interesting to have an open boys basketball tournament because of East Carteret.
The 1A Mariners are 29-0 and have defeated 2A quarterfinalist Jacksonville Northside three times, 3A quarterfinalist Havelock twice, and 4A quarterfinalist Millbrook once. East Carteret also has wins over 3A West Carteret and West Craven and 4A New Hanover and Wilmington Ashley.
Traditional schools: All four of the boys and girls 1A quarterfinals in the East are traditional schools, which has become the exception in the 1A playoffs. The East Carteret boys play Plymouth and Wallace-Rose Hill plays Rocky Point Trask. The Riverside Martin girls play Pamlico and East Columbus plays Rosewood.
In the West, the Winston-Salem Prep boys and girls and the Kernersville McGuinness girls are in the quarterfinals.
The McGuinness girls have won eight straight 1A titles and Winston-Salem Prep has won the last two boys titles.
Tennis rankings: The N.C. Tennis Coaches Association boys rankings have area teams in five of the top six spots in 4A, but the rankings dont account for recent matches. East Chapel Hill is ranked No. 4, but recently beat top-ranked Millbrook and No. 6 Broughton in one-sided matches.
Wakefield is No. 2 and Green Hope is No. 3 in 4A.
Cardinal Gibbons is No. 1 in 3A and Chapel Hill is No. 3.
Fayetteville tournament: This is the fourth year of a four-year contract to hold the Eastern Regional basketball games in Fayetteville. Since the NCHSAA went to the regional concept, the regionals have been held in Wilson, then Fayetteville, then Greenville and back to Fayetteville.
The key to hosting the regionals is having corporate sponsors to help cover expenses.
Former NCHSAA executive director Charlie Adams push to major facilities was centered around obtaining the sponsors to cover the expenses of playing at a neutral site.
Adams recalled as a Cary High guard playing King High for the state 1A basketball title at Aberdeen High in 1954. The Cary club had played Broughton earlier in the year at N.C. States Reynolds Coliseum in front over thousands of spectators.
Aberdeen, on the other hand, was a typical high school gym with wood-on-steel bleachers on one side of the gym.
When Adams took the reins of the NCHSAA, one of his goals was to get the NCHSAA championships in the nicest facilities available. He did it with the help of corporate sponsors.
There are few high school facilities in the state who could handle the amount of spectators who attend many championship games.
Postponement: The Johnston County track and field championships, which were scheduled for Wednesday, have been moved to March 21.