Poor conditions cause Friday session of Sertoma Classic to be canceled

Gate worker David Pentland wipes down his golf cart after the Sertoma Classic was cancelled at Johnson Hagood Stadium due to wet weather.

For the second time in three years, the Friday session of the Sertoma Football Classic was canceled because of the weather.

Heavy afternoon rains combined with high tide made streets surrounding The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium nearly impassable. The games will not be rescheduled.

Sertoma Club officials said the field at Johnson Hagood Stadium had standing water on it and the field conditions weren't safe.

There will be no ticket refunds, Sertoma spokesman John Panagiotou said. The proceeds from the event go to various charities and the high schools involved.

Two years ago, Sertoma ticket stubs were honored at The Citadel's season-opening football game. Panagiotou said there are no such plans for unused tickets from Friday night's session.

"I talked to (Sertoma president) Michael Herlocker and there are no provisions at this time," Panagiotou said. "But the rainout is going to affect how much money we give to the charities and schools. Two years ago, people and community leaders stepped up to help us reach our goal, and because of that, we barely made it.

"It's unfortunate for everybody," he added. "It's a great disappointment for everyone, and I really feel bad for the seniors. They were looking forward to playing in their last Sertoma Classic, the ones who were supposed to play tonight."

Soon after the cancellation became official, a contingent from James Island High School showed up with a $5,000 check for the school's ticket sales.

"I thought I would have to explain the no-refund process," Panagiotou said. "They said we didn't have to explain. The $5,000 was for Sertoma, for the good we do."

That attitude earned James Island Friday night's Alwyn Berlin Spirit Award. Bishop England won Thursday night's spirit competition.