Postponement forces area football teams to adapt for short week
Dan Aaker has been coaching the Winner Warriors for 12 years but has never had to tackle delays in schedule like he’s experienced this season.
Class 11B’s No. 2 Warriors (5-0) have had two delays to their regular-season schedule this season. Earlier this season, Winner played the first half of a game against Parkston before a weather-caused delay moved the conclusion of the game to the next evening, forcing Winner to travel to Parkston twice.
Last week, the Warriors were scheduled to host St. Thomas More Friday but the game was delayed to Monday because of inclement weather. Monday’s game was again rescheduled and the teams finally met on the gridiron Tuesday. The Warriors came away with a 30-13 victory over third-ranked St. Thomas More.
“It’s been a crazy two weeks,” Aaker said. “It’s really odd and we’ve tried to make the best of it.”
The Warriors are scheduled to play again at 7 p.m. Friday against Mobridge-Pollock, just three days after their last game. Mobridge-Pollock traveled to Chamberlain last week, coming away with a 20-8 victory, and had a regular week to prepare for Friday’s matchup.
Aaker praised his team’s mental toughness for being able to deal with the delays.
“Through the year you try to prepare for things you might see,” Aaker said. “I’m very happy with how our players have handled it. “Usually we plan for a day off after a game, but we’ll have to do a lot of mental preparation and get ready for Friday’s game.”
Colome and Lyman are also dealing with the short week to prepare for Friday’s contests. Both teams played Monday as Colome earned a 68-33 win over Edgemont and Lyman suffered a 40-34 loss to Hill City.
Colome head coach Kevin Keiser said his team has only had to deal with a postponement one other time in his six-year tenure.
It was back in 2006 when the Cowboys took on Andes Central and rain soaked the field in Lake Andes. Keiser said the game started on a Friday and didn’t finish until the next day.
Keiser said his team is not worried about playing on short rest against Corsica/Stickney (4-1) Friday in Colome.
“We can’t worry about the schedule,” Keiser said. “We are playing a good team. There are no excuses just because it is a short week. This is a big game, and we have to come out ready to compete.”
Colome (4-1) is receiving votes in the Class 9A polls.
Keiser said the delay altered his team’s schedule, but the squad will be ready.
“After our game Monday, we watched game film and on Tuesday we went half pads,” he said, adding the team watches film and lifts on Monday during a regular week. “So the delay moved things up a little bit, but the kids have done a good job with it.”