Wet fields force area prep football decisions
Roseau went a long way to pick up a football homecoming victory.
The Rams were scheduled to host Hawley High School in their homecoming game Friday. However, heavy rains -- athletic director Ivan Hirst said the city received seven inches of rain in one 24-hour span last week -- left Roseau’s field under water and unplayable.
Initially, Hirst said, the homecoming game was cancelled. “When I walked on the field Friday, the standing water was over the top top of my shoes,’’ Hirst said. “I called Hawley and told them it would be a pointless trip. We couldn’t play on the field. But we agreed to postpone the game until Saturday and play there.’’
Roseau made the 300-mile round trip to Hawley and came home with a 34-22 homecoming win. ‘It's actually pretty cool to win your homecoming game on the road,’’ Hirst said.
How many more games can be played at home is unclear. After this weekend’s heavy rains, Roseau -- like many area teams -- had a drenched football field.
Roseau has two remaining home varsity games, the first on Oct. 4 against Crookston, plus a few sub-varsity games. Whether the field will be playable for any of those is questionable, Hirst said.
“We'll play it by ear,’’ Hirst said. “There's a chance of rain almost every day this week. We don't have a crown on our field. We don't have a drainage system. Water just sits. We need help from Mother Nature -- some sunshine, some wind -- to dry us out.’’
On Monday afternoon, Hirst walked the field. “For all 300 feet, it was like walking on a wet towel with water squirting out on every step.’’
DL loses homecoming
Roseau moved its homecoming game. Devils Lake cancelled its homecoming game Saturday afternoon against Bismarck St. Mary’s.
Devils Lake athletic director Jason Wiberg said there was standing water on the field, in the end zone and along the goal line on the north end of the field and along both sidelines where teams stand.
“It was just really wet,’’ Wiberg said. “I didn't think it was safe for the players to be on. They would have been slipping and sliding all over the place. And if we had played on it and tore it up, which would have happened in a hurry, then it would probably be torn up for the rest of the year.
“I've never had to call a football game because of water. It wasn't an easy decision.’’
Wiberg said he anticipates the field will be drained and ready for future games this season.
Cavalier drying out
Cavalier received a reported 6.8 inches of rain Friday night. The high school football team played Benson County at Leeds that night -- a game Cavalier won 14-0 after it was called following the first quarter due to inclement weather.
Cavalier’s field had substantial water sitting on it, Tornadoes football coach Sandy Laxdal said. But he anticipates the field will be ready for Friday’s game against visiting North Star.
“It’s in the drying process,’’ Laxdal said. “The east end zone was under water, but the field itself didn’t have much water. It was in really good shape, so I don’t think the rain will affect it.
“We started draining it Saturday. Getting the water off right away and giving the field time to drain and dry really helped.’’