The Duncan Banner

September 12, 2013

Lightning forces Demon game cancellation

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Mother Nature wouldn’t let the Demons and Eagles take the field.

Lightning and rainfall first forced a delay to the start of Friday’s scheduled Duncan High School football game against Weatherford at Halliburton Field.

And the lightning wouldn’t go away, utlimately leading to the game’s cancellation.

“Never,” said Demon coach Jim Holloway regarding this situation happening in his coaching career. “We’ve had games postponed but never had one completely cancelled, right from the start of the game.”

High school football teams are not allowed to take the field if lightning is present and must wait 30 minutes from the last lightning strike before they may return to the field. At 8 p.m. Friday, with lightning still present, Demon and Eagle coaches agreed to cancel the game, rather than wait for the lightning and rain to pass.

“We didn’t know how long it would last,” Holloway said, adding that both teams would have needed time to warm up before starting play.

The Demon coach said the safety of the players was another factor. Friday’s rainfall resulted in some puddling on parts of the field and flooding on the track that surrounds the field.

“You’ve got to be thinking about safety first with the kids,” Holloway said. “You’ve got to be thinking about that with the lightning and the field conditions.”

Duncan High School Athletic Director Burl White, who has been with the schools for 18 years, said there was a game against Chickasha a few years ago that had been postponed because of rain and lightning. But given that Chickasha is a district opponent and is only 30 minutes from Duncan, it was easier to reschedule that game, White said. He said it would not have been as easy for Weatherford, given that the Eagles traveled much farther to get to Duncan.

“If it had been a district game, we would have made the time (Saturday) to make it up,” White said.

Still, Holloway admitted it’s not easy losing a game, particularly as the Demons are preparing for district play. The Demons are set to face one of the top teams in Class 5A, Carl Albert, in a week’s time and Carl Albert played its game Friday against Coweta, winning 43-7.

“I told the kids we really wanted to play,” he said. “We had a good opponent and an opportunity to get better. We had an opportunity to probably win a game and see the improvement we made.”

Holloway added, “We are kind of a game behind now. You gain confidence and experience in playing games.”