La Salle High football coach Drew Gordon visited the Explorers' grass practice field Tuesday afternoon, checking on its post-Hurricane Sandy condition.

"It's a mess," Gordon said. "It'd be dangerous to practice on it. You'd have to worry about players getting injured, maybe pulling a muscle or something like that. It'd be hard for the kids to get their cleats in the ground."

After seeing the field, soaked by rain and covered with leaves, Gordon was seeking alternatives for Wednesday's practice. La Salle, like other Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey high schools, was closed Monday and Tuesday because of the storm.

La Salle, ranked No. 3 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, is scheduled to face Roman Catholic in a Catholic League Class AAAA semifinal at 3 p.m. Saturday at William Tennent.

George Washington, the defending Public League Class AAAA football champion, has not practiced since Thursday. The Eagles, who had a first-round playoff bye last weekend, are slated to play Northeast in a semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

"Right now, you're talking about five days without any hitting," longtime Washington coach Ron Cohen said.

Bob Ruoff, executive secretary for District 1 of the PIAA, said his goal is to have the district's boys' soccer, girls' soccer, field hockey, and girls' volleyball playoffs completed in time for the scheduled start of their respective state tournaments.

"We're hopeful of that happening," Ruoff said. "But we've talked to the state, and they said they could push things back if needed."

Abington, Central Bucks West, and Council Rock South were among the suburban schools closed on Wednesday.

The Public League boys' and girls' soccer championship games, both at Northeast High's Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium, are set for Wednesday. The boys' final is at 3 p.m., and the girls are set to play at 5.

South Jersey. Ready for Wednesday night football?

Shawnee and Cherokee are expected to host games with major playoff implications next Wednesday night as schedules are adjusted because of the hurricane.

In a surprise, the NJSIAA is expected to allow football teams to play games this weekend if both schools agree, according to a source close to the state football scene.

The NJSIAA announced Monday that the start of the football state tournament would be pushed back to the weekend of Nov. 16-17 if any New Jersey high school was unable to open this week, a near-certainty given the damage sustained by many schools along the Shore.

But the NJSIAA's announcement did not address regular-season games this weekend.

Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said that Shawnee is "planning" to host Pennsauken next Wednesday night, and that Cherokee will host Cherry Hill East on the same night.

Mainland athletic director Mike Gatley said his school would host No. 1 St. Joseph, as scheduled, on Friday night. Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano said that his school would be closed again Wednesday, and he said there was "no way" his team would be prepared to play West Deptford this weekend.

Absegami coach Dennis Scuderi Jr., whose team is scheduled to host Atlantic City in a key game Friday, indicated there was no chance teams from those storm-ravaged areas would be ready to play this weekend.

Rally Extra Online

Southeastern Pennsylvania: For soccer notes, boys' and girls' soccer top 10s and schedule updates, go to www.philly.com/rallypa

For breaking news, go to Rick O'Brien's blog,  

The O'Zone at www.philly.com/ozone

South Jersey: For updated football power points, statistical leaders, analysis of the football playoff races and breaking news on schedules and tournament dates, go to Phil Anastasia's blog, Jersey Side Sports at www.philly.com/jerseyside

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