- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 1, 2003

Kacheri Angion, 14, is sick of the snow because it has put a big damper on her social life.
The freshman at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Md., said the snow has twice postponed her Black History Month presentation, and has twice kept her from watching her brother play in the junior varsity basketball playoffs.
"I can't stand the snow now," said Kacheri, who lives in Bowie. "I look forward to watching these games, especially now because these are the playoffs, and they've been canceled twice already."
Kacheri isn't the only one who's frustrated with what seems to be endless snowfall. The two storms that buried the area under more than 2 feet of snow in the past two weeks has forced schools to postpone or cancel afterschool activities, weekly mixers and athletic events, leaving thousands of students disappointed and bored.
The repeated delays and cancellations also have caused major headaches for athletic directors as they get ready to play championship tournaments today, without much practice. School athletics have been disrupted twice this school year; once because of last fall's sniper shootings, and now because of the snow.
Earl Hawkins, the athletic director for Prince George's County Public Schools, called it "a difficult year."
"We've tried to keep things as normal as possible," he said.
Right now, Mr. Hawkins said, schools are in the middle of state basketball tournaments, and several regular-season games were canceled and could not be rescheduled. "One of the major problems is that teams have not been able to practice," he said.
Allen Chin, the director of athletics for D.C. Public Schools, shares Mr. Hawkins' pain. Mr. Chin said students will now have to play games on Saturdays. "We usually do not play on Saturdays, but because of the snow, we will play today," he said.
Both men said the sniper shootings took a bigger toll on all school athletic programs. Football schedules in Maryland, Virginia and the District were so disrupted that some games were not made up, Mr. Chin said.
"You must be flexible, especially living in Washington, D.C.," he said. "Things happen beyond our control, and learning how to be flexible is a part of life."
In Virginia, Loudoun County's sports schedules have not been seriously affected because the closings came when athletics were in transition between winter and spring sports.
The boys' basketball tournament, however, was postponed. The games, which were scheduled to begin last night, will begin today. The championships will be held Tuesday night.
Wayde Byard, a spokesman for Loudoun County schools, said students have been understanding. "They know there is nothing we could do about it," he said.
Jasmine Offutt, 14, a student at Minnie Howard Junior High School in Alexandria, said her school canceled many basketball games. "We will miss the basketball season because of the snow," she said, adding her school also canceled cheerleading and track.
Sadatu Dennis, 14, who also attends Archbishop Spalding High School, said she doesn't like missing school or activities, especially now that she has found the perfect dress to wear to her school's highly anticipated Winter Ball. The dance, scheduled for Feb. 22, will now take place March 14.
Sadatu, who lives in Columbia, said she and her friends were disappointed when the dance was postponed. She said the school does not sponsor many dances, so the Winter Ball is the highlight of the year.
"Everybody started shopping for their outfits last month. It's a dressy dance and the guys have to wear shirts and ties and the girls wear really nice dresses," she said. "I got a black dress three weeks ago. But that's up in the air now since the season's about to change and I may have to get another dress."
Mary Shaffrey contributed to this report.

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