Batavia football coach Dennis Piron delivered his postgame address to a bunch of somber-faced Bulldogs on Friday night.
If it weren’t for the clean uniforms and the indoor venue, it sure looked like a consolation speech was being delivered.
The Bulldogs had not lost their season opener against Glenbard North. That game, like almost all others involving Kane County Chronicle area teams Friday night, was postponed until today by persistent lightning.
Batavia is 0-0, not 0-1, but the Bulldogs still looked grim.
“They want to play so bad, but that’s a good thing. They’re excited,” Piron said moments after dismissing his team from Batavia’s fieldhouse. “They worked so hard. They just want to play. And I’m sure Glenbard North feels the same way.
“They want to get out there. They’ve been working, toiling, practicing. They want to play a game. That’s why you do this. So they’re upset.”
The Bulldogs-Panthers game was moved to 1 p.m. today and will be part of a suddenly busting day of high school football. St. Charles North’s game at Elk Grove, Geneva’s game at Oswego and Kaneland’s home game against Brooks were among the local games pushed to today.
St. Charles East already was scheduled to open its season against South Elgin this afternoon.
The Batavia-Glenbard North game was among the most hyped opening-week matchups in the entire Chicago area. After the sophomore game was delayed late in the second quarter and eventually postponed, officials hoped the varsity matchup could be started by 8:30 p.m. but the lightning – accompanied by plenty of rain – lingered.
Piron said he wants the Bulldogs to treat the new arrangement “like we would for a Saturday playoff game.”
“We’ll get in here early, we’ll do training table, we’ll be focused, we’ll watch film. We’ll do all the stuff we would do on a Saturday in the playoffs,” he said. “This will be a dry run for that later in the year.”
First-year St. Charles North coach Rob Pomazak served as a teacher and assistant football coach at Elk Grove for 13 years, spending the past two seasons as the Grenadiers’ defensive coordinator.
North’s visit to Elk Grove was already scheduled before Pomazak joined the program, but the last-minute delay to 1 p.m. today was not.
“Did I ever expect my first game as a head coach against my former school to be rained out? Probably not. Baseball, maybe, but not football,” said Pomazak, who also was a lower-level baseball coach. “So we’ll just line it up and do it all over again tomorrow. We’re excited about it.”
While most games were moved to today, Aurora Christian’s game against DuSable was rescheduled all the way to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe said that the travel turnaround for the Chicago team would have been too abrupt today and with Labor Day falling on Monday, the two sides agreed that “Tuesday was the easiest for everybody,” Beebe said.
Aside from players’ disappointment, the postponements caused several administrative headaches. Batavia athletic director Dave Andrews said the school would not charge admission during this morning’s sophomore game since most of the sophomore parents already had purchased their tickets Friday, but would start charging admission around noon. The school could work with fans on a case-by-case basis because of the tricky logistics, Andrews said.
Friday night was supposed to be “Junior Bulldog Night” for Batavia’s popular youth program.
“Every family had plans [for their Saturday] and a lot of people have college football plans and stuff but we are going to try to honor Junior Bulldogs as much as we possibly can,” Andrews said.
A handful of Batavia players lingered in the fieldhouse playing catch with a football after the team meeting, while others tried to figure out what to do with themselves the rest of the night. Bulldogs offensive lineman Mitch Krusz said his plans were to “go home, play some Madden. I don’t know. Just keep football in mind.”
“It’s a whole different situation now,” Krusz said. “Those who have played on a Saturday game know what it’s going to be like, but those that don’t they might struggle. We’ve got to help them through that to be ready for tomorrow.”
• Kevin Druley and Jake Powers contributed to this report.