Originally, the Newman Catholic and Gilman high school football teams were scheduled to play Saturday afternoon at Stiehm Stadium.
But, Gilman coach Robin Rosemeyer was adamant that his team play during the week, and with Appleton West and D.C. Everest scheduled to play on the field today, the Cloverwood Conference game was set for Thursday.
Perhaps the teams should have stuck with the original plan.
Just over 10 minutes before the game was set to start, there was a flash of lightning to the west, forcing the players off the field and fans out of the bleachers to wait out the storm. But after an hour of lightning delays, the skies opened and the game between a pair of 2-2 teams was officially postponed.
Newman officials were scrambling afterward trying to find a place to play today with the Wausau East and Wausau West practice fields being a possibility, along with Marathon High School’s field as the Raiders are at Altoona.
Newman Catholic coach Paul Michlig said a decision will be made by this morning, and there is a possibility that the game could be played as it was originally scheduled.
“Someone up there is laughing, but it ain’t me,” Michlig said. “I wish I had the answers for (what’s next) because it’s never happened before. We just have to pretend like tomorrow is game day and get ready for it again. We’ve faced adversity in this program over the last 12 years so it’s nothing that we’re going to lose sleep over.”
Under WIAA guidelines, once lightning is seen in the area, there is an automatic 30 minute delay before play can resume, and the delay begins again on every lightning flash.
Michlig said his players waited out the delay by either quietly focusing on the game at their lockers, or getting a quick game of catch in the hallways to remain loose.
“I thought it was to our advantage if we would have played tonight because I thought our kids did a good job of handling the situation and keeping their focus for the game, because this is a big game,” Michlig said.
Newman didn’t hold any position meetings during the delay.
“We were 10-15 minutes away from the start and had everything ready to go (when the delay came),” Michlig said. “You’re not going to switch anything at the point. Everything was to a ‘T’. The key at that points is just to make sure the kids stay focused on what they’re supposed to do.”