LAKELAND – Northeast is playing.
Northeast’s girls’ basketball program qualified for its state final with a 43-37 semifinal win on Friday over Orlando Edgewater. But the Northeast players threatened to not play the final unless the Saturday schedule was changed.
At issue was Northeast coach Zach Gillion and his faith. Gillion is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which observes the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
In the end, the FHSAA could not change the schedule, and the girls decided to play.
Northeast athletic director Dawn Conrad said the girls spoke in the heat of the moment on Friday. She also said that playing in Saturday’s final was the decision of the girls and that they did not need to be convinced or forced.
Northeast is now on the court in its Class 6A final against Fort Myers.