Railer football season-opener rescheduled for August 26
Send a link to a friend  Share

[August 26, 2023]  Springfield -- The Lincoln Community High School Railer football team must wait a day--or at least a few hours--to play its opening game of the season. The team’s game against Lanphier High School at Memorial Stadium was postponed due to inclement weather.
 The rescheduled contest will take place August 26 at 11 AM at Memorial Stadium in Springfield. It was announced at the stadium Friday night that tickets purchased by attendees for the Friday night contest would be honored Saturday.
 Although the original 7 PM start time of the Friday night contest was pushed back a half hour in an effort for the weather to cool off, the first sign that revised start time was in jeopardy was seen when both teams stepped onto the field. While a few had their helmets on, most of the players wore none of their protective pads and only T-shirts and shorts rather than their game uniforms. Given that this scene took place shortly before 7 PM, it was apparent the game would not start on time.
 A safety monitoring device used at the field to measure conditions and make sure the conditions were safe for the athletes to play indicated it was unsafe at game time. The athletes warmed up a bit before returning to their locker rooms to await the signal to play.

In the meantime, the temperature and humidity dropped only slightly. The storm that hit Lincoln did not produce any rain in Springfield, but the winds at Memorial Stadium picked up and significant lightning was visible. At around 7:50 PM, spectators were instructed to leave the seating and the metal bleacher area due to concerns about lightning. As the attendees made their way to safety in an adjacent building, the teams and officials remained in their respective locker rooms in the hopes conditions would allow the game to be played Friday night.

At around 9 PM, the officials emerged and met to discuss the situation with personnel from both schools. It was decided that, due to the lingering storms with visible lightning in the area, the best course of action was to postpone the game. Illinois High School Association rules require that teams must wait 30 minutes after any lightning is seen before they can take the field; if lightning is spotted in the interim, the clock resets and the teams must wait 30 minutes from that point.

[to top of second column]

In front of the empty bleachers cleared due to lighting concerns, officials at Memorial Stadium in Springfield meet prior to announcing their decision to postpone the LCHS Railer football season opening game versus Lanphier. The contest will take place August 26 at 11 AM.

Giving the amount of visible lightning present at 9 PM, it appeared it would be a significant time until 30 lightning-free minutes would pass. After that, both teams would have needed time to take the field and warm up again prior to the start of the game.
 The game was to have been the “Friday night rivals” game of the week on the CW23 television station from Springfield. The rescheduling of the contest made CW23 unable to televise the game.
 However, those who can not attend the game will be able to listen and watch courtesy of WLCN 96.3 FM in rural Atlanta. Those in the listening area can tune in on their radio, while folks outside the FM broadcast area can listen on computer/smart phone/tablet by using the Mixlr app/web site to receive WLCN’s broadcast. In addition, WLCN will provide live video stream coverage via its YouTube channel. To access the online audio or video stream, go to the WLCNOnline.com home page and click the Watch live or Listen live badges.

[Loyd Kirby]

Back to top