BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — The threat of severe weather forced more than a dozen high school football games to be played earlier than normal. Coaches and players say they were well prepared for the stormy forecast and oppressive heat.
The touchdown celebrations came early Friday for the Bay Rockets and the Elyria Catholic Panthers. Not only did both teams score in the first quarter, but the match up in Bay Village was pushed up from 7:00 p.m. to a 6:00 p.m. start time.
“The decision was made earlier in the day, probably before noon, to move the game up, so they were looking at that and understanding the situation,” said Assistant Coach Ben Boka.
Storm clouds were forming as the teams battled each other and raced to get the game in before severe weather struck. Some of the Bay players said the early start wouldn’t affect their performance, although they prefer a later start, closer to dark.
“The lights, it just feels way better playing on Friday night under the lights, it just adds to the whole feeling,” said player Zach Starowesky.
Pre-game temperatures were in the 90s, which coaches said they were prepared for as well.
“We’ve been telling our boys to hydrate all week, we knew it’s been warm the last several days and we keep telling them keep drinking, keep hydrating, especially on game day,” said Coach Boka.
Coaches said handling all types of weather during football season is nothing new.
“The beginning part of the season is usually obviously a lot hotter and we get to deal with the other end of the spectrum later…in weeks nine and ten, you know, but this is something to be expected and certainly within the first couple, three weeks of the season,” said Boka.
The game was called at half-time. The teams will finish the game Saturday.