It was exactly 10 years ago the last time Morris and Minooka had their Friday night lights snuffed out by weather. Back in 2003, and now in 2013, it was almost identical circumstances – bad weather that led to the cancellation of the evening’s high school football game.
This year’s game was eventually canceled Friday night. It has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. today, with the gates opening to the public at 5 p.m.
With the sophomore game in the third quarter with 5:29 to go and the Indians leading the Redskins 35-21, the Morris administration cleared the stands and halted the game.
“We looked at the radar and talked to the officials,” Morris School District 101 Superintendent Pat Halloran said. “(Athletic director) George (Dergo), (Morris Principal) Kelly (Hussey) and (Assistant Principal) Jeff (Johnson) have been getting all the reports. It’s all been a coordinated effort.”
“We heard that they had cleared the stands at the fairgrounds,” Hussey said of clearing the stands. “That put us in an awkward situation if we don’t move the people out there. That’s why we did it.”
After a short delay, the players were allowed back on the field and the fans started gathering in the stands when the IHSA officials cleared the field again.
“(The first decision) was made by the administration, but [the second one] was our call because of lightning,” head official Hollice Clark said of the second stoppage. “As per IHSA rules.”
From there, no other player took the field again, leaving the administration to figure out the best course of action.
“It sucks for both of the schools because the kids are tired of hitting each other and want to play. It’s unfortunate,” Minooka coach Paul Forsythe said. “It’s a lose-lose situation for everybody.”
Morris coach Alan Thorson agrees the circumstances are upsetting.
“It’s disappointing because I know the kids wanted to go out and play,” he said. “It was an officials decision. The kids are disappointed but they will be fine. Obviously, the decision comes down to the safety of the kids and maintaining the field conditions.”
Morris senior captain Kyle Hill said the Redskins will be ready when it’s time to go at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“The first delay it was kind of weird. Then we went and warmed up again and after that, we didn’t know what to do,” Hill said. “Regardless of when we play, we’re going to be ready. We’re going to go out and do what we can to put a ‘W’ on the board.”