Teams battle rain, wind on final night of regular seasonDorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore — we’re in South Dakota, where high school football teams battled through winds as high as 74 mph Thursday night.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore — we’re in South Dakota, where high school football teams battled through winds as high as 74 mph Thursday night.
“These are the games you remember,” Canistota head coach Lenny Schroeder said. “You don’t remember the games with nice weather. We try to jack our kids up to play in games like this because you can’t use the weather as an excuse.
“Once you get into the game, you don’t even realize the conditions.”
There were averages of 40 to 70 mph winds across the state Thursday and .41 of an inch in precipitation was measured in Mitchell as of 7 p.m., according to Brad Temeyer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service South Dakota Field Office.
Despite having 61 mph winds in the Mitchell area, Howard head coach Pat Ruml, whose team played in Mount Vernon, said the conditions were difficult.
But on the final day of the high school regular season, that’s what Mother Nature ordered.
“I told the kids, ‘This is South Dakota, so get used to it,’ ” Ruml said. “We stood on the south side of the field and the rain was coming right into our faces.”
Area coaches said gusts and rain made passing or punting the ball very difficult.
“We like to throw the football, and I don’t think we threw it one time in the entire game,” said Gregory head coach Brian Allmendinger, whose team played at home where the wind gusts were recorded at 71 mph. “The light poles were shaking a little bit, too.”
Ruml said running the ball was a dominant part of nearly every game in the state.
“Every time the ball was thrown, the wind knocked it straight down,” Ruml said. “When you punted with the wind the ball went into the end zone, and when you punted against it, the ball barely moved.”
Ruml said the kids enjoyed the game but the aftermath was a different story.
“When we got on the bus, the kids realized how wet they were,” he said. “They were just drenched and everything on the sidelines was full of water. We are going to have a major drying out when we get home.”
No matter how windy or rainy Thursday was, one thing can be said — at least it wasn’t snowing.