PEMBROKE — Extensive flooding to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s campus due to Hurricane Matthew has led to postponements of several athletic events through this week and threatens Saturday’s home football game.
The No. 21 UNCP football team is scheduled to host Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday at 2 p.m., but with power outages and flooding still affecting the Pembroke area, the game’s location and time are still in the air. A deadline of Thursday at 5 p.m. has been set for any announcements of changes in venue for the game with the site and time being announced at that time as well.
“This is the biggest weather hurdle we have had to get over as a program,” UNCP football head coach Shane Richardson said.
The only other instance weather has affected a UNCP football game came in 2014 when the matchup at home against Fayetteville State was moved to Sunday after a downpour on Saturday.
The potential move could be the first home game moved from Grace P. Johnson Stadium in the history of the program. Possible locations for the game could be high school stadiums in the local area.
According to UNCP Sports Information Director Todd Anderson, there is no damage other than wet condition to the athletic facilities on campus, but there is no power in Pembroke.
The lack of power has forced the football team to pack up and travel to Wingate University today to start its preparation for the game. The team will stay in hotel rooms in Monroe while practicing at Wingate.
“We’ve been texting with some of the players, but tomorrow will be the first time the guys have been together since returning from the Lenoir-Rhyne game and we’ll give the guys the 411 in light of the extenuating circumstances,” Richardson said. “This will be extra challenging preparing for the game having to move from the comfortably the guys have built and have to pick up and adjust from what you’re used to.”
The athletics department also announced in a press release the postponement of other athletic events this week:
The UNCP volleyball contes scheduled today at Francis Marion in Florence, S.C., has been postponed, and a rescheduled date will be announced at a later date. On Wednesday, the department announced that the two home volleyball matches this weekend will be moved to Francis Marion. The Lady Braves will play Flager on Friday at 6 p.m., and Armstrong State on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The status of those games and the football game will mostly be based on when power is restored to Pembroke.
Thursday afternoon’s soccer doubleheader at Flagler in St. Augustine, Fla., has been postponed. Officials from both schools are discussing workable options for a makeup date, but will announce that information at a later time. The soccer teams’ doubleheader against Montevallo in Dahlonega, Ga., on Saturday has not been affected.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.