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Day 1 a wash for many area football teams

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Mon. August 3, 2015 | Bob Putnam | Email

After three weeks of heavy rain, area football players and coaches were hoping for some kind of refuge for the start of fall practice on Monday.

But the monsoons continued and flood warnings were issued for parts of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties that lasted until 4:30 p.m. Because of the conditions, most practices were washed out.

“We had to (cancel),” Anclote coach Matt Wicks said. “There’s lots of flooding. I just didn’t want to risk it.”

Nearly every practice was canceled in southwestern Pasco County, one of the hardest hit areas. The Anclote River was expected to reach 26.5 feet – more than 2 feet past the major flood stage. The schools in that area that didn’t call off practice were forced to go through drills inside the gymnasium.

Hillsborough also reported widespread flooding, especially in South Tampa. Schools in that area, such as Jefferson, Robinson and Tampa Catholic, canceled practice. Plant, which has a turf field, was planning to practice Monday night.

North Pinellas County also reported some flooding but most schools were able to hold a light walkthrough or practice inside the gymnasium. Tarpon Springs had some of the worst flooding in the county. After surveying the streets near the school, first-year Spongers coach Mike Lube determined it was not safe to hold practice.

“It was just too dangerous to bring the kids in (Monday),” Lube said.

Some coaches made light of the situation. On Sunday, Clearwater Central Catholic coach John Davis said practice would still be held Monday.

“Swim practice,” he quipped. 

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