DNC causing a shift in football schedule
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – The long arm of politics is reaching high school football this season.
The Democratic National Convention invading Charlotte in early September forced Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to switch its home football games scheduled for two straight Friday nights – Aug. 31 and Sept. 7.
Instead of Friday night games, CMS teams with home games will play on Thursday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Sept. 8. The reason? Not enough police.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department personnel have been shifted to DNC-related assignments on those two Friday nights, CMS Director of Communications Tahira Stalberte said.
The Aug. 30 games include Hopewell High hosting Ardrey Kell, North Mecklenburg hosting East Mecklenburg, Hough hosting Providence and West Mecklenburg hosting South Mecklenburg.
The shorter time between games (six days instead of seven) isn’t a huge adjustment for teams, who in the past have dealt with games postponed by weather, power outages and religious holidays. It helps that teams learned of the short weeks before the season began, Hopewell coach David Johnson said.
“Overall, the DNC does not change too much, and just the way in which your week is scheduled,” Johnson said.
“We will just change the amount of time allotted to certain practice situations and bump everything up a day to be ready for a Thursday game. It does help knowing going into the year, so the schedule can be adjusted and planned out versus having to prepare for two games in a week.”
Lake-area teams that aren’t CMS schools will play Aug. 31 because they don’t use CMPD officers. The same is true on Sept. 7.
But the three CMS games switched to Saturday, Sept. 8, are Hough at Berry, North Mecklenburg vs. Myers Park (at Memorial Stadium in uptown Charlotte) and West Mecklenburg at East Mecklenburg.
All lake-area teams will play on Friday, Sept. 14, making a shorter practice week for Hough, North Mecklenburg and West Mecklenburg.
Last season, CMS also altered its football schedule by moving games up one day because of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Football teams occasionally, because of bad weather on Friday nights, are forced to shift games to Saturday or the following Monday or Tuesday, depending on field condition, travel and availability of security personnel.