Sylvania Northview High School students will have day off from class Friday to allow time to travel to Columbus to watch the hockey team compete in the state semifinal competition.
The Wildcats, the defending state champions, earned the trip to state after defeating St. John’s Jesuit in the district competition Saturday.
Northview (26-6-1) faces Powell Olentangy Liberty.
School officials said taking a day off would reduce the pressure to reach Columbus in time for the 4 p.m. game.
The state finals, normally scheduled Saturday and Sunday, were moved to accommodate a Bon Jovi concert at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.
The school plans to announce details later regarding tickets, hotel rooms, and spirit buses for students who do not have a ride to the game.
A rep rally and team send-off are planned Thursday morning.
Principal Steven Swaggerty said the game’s timing presented a challenge because of the number of students, staff, and parents who planned to attend the game.
The school considered an early release, but chose to cancel classes.
“We have decided against an early release, which would have required we be in class until 12:30, but would have had our young drivers rushing to get home, drive to Columbus, fight traffic, park, and get into the arena by game time,” Mr. Swaggerty wrote in a note to parents. “Inexperienced drivers rushing to get somewhere unfamiliar to them is not a good formula.”
Northview places academics first, he said, but “special, positive moments like this one are those which will stand out in our kids’ minds for years to come.”