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updated: 8/30/2013 10:51 PM

Rohde's Elgin debut put on hold

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  • Dundee-Crown athletic director Dick Storm talks on the walkie talkie with other officials as lightning delays the season opener against Elgin Friday.

      Dundee-Crown athletic director Dick Storm talks on the walkie talkie with other officials as lightning delays the season opener against Elgin Friday.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

By Steve Nichols

So much for Friday's debut of Kyle Rohde as Elgin's head coach football coach.

Though, that was the fault of Mother Nature, who Rohde was very leery of Friday morning.

"I was watching (the weather) since about 6 a.m.," the first-year coach said after Dundee-Crown athletic director Dick Storm and Elgin AD Paul Pennington determined it was best to postpone the Elgin vs. Dundee-Crown game to 1 p.m. Saturday at the D-C Bowl in Carpentersville after inclement weather came through the area Friday.

"I think it's better, Rohde said. "It's safer for the kids, better for everybody just to play a game straight-through."

Dundee-Crown head coach Vito Andriola agreed.

"You never want the game to stop. Once you start a game you never want it to stop. It's something we've got to deal it," Andriola said. "It's just part of the deal. We were ready to play we just have to be ready (today). It's no different."

A line of storms entered the Carpentersville area after 5 p.m. and continued to hover over the vicinity near the cutoff time Storm and Pennington set, which was 7:30. If the storms had moved out by then -- where blue sky in the distance teased -- it would have set up an 8:30 kickoff.

IHSA rules state that every lightning strike or clap of thunder delays the contest 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the lightning didn't cooperate and coupled with the fact the players needed time to warm up on the front end and curfew on the back end, delaying such a game everybody looked forward to all summer, especially junior Malik Dunner, who transferred back to Dundee-Crown from Elgin this summer, was the only choice.

"Playing against people I've been with for three years, it's pretty interesting you know," Dunner said. "It's going to be fun for me out there but for the game to get held back it's pretty disappointing for everybody. The whole team is disappointed but we just have to come back harder (today)."

Unlike Rohde, Dunner saw there was a 30 percent chance of rain and didn't think anything of it.

"I said 'nah, it ain't going to rain, it hasn't rained all week.' It just rains and it's like 'man, it's crazy,' " Dunner said.

Elgin running back Jaylen Clemons expected to play too, but he went back home to get some sleep with hopes the field would dry up for better traction.

"It (stinks), I'm anxious, I can't wait," Clemons said. "I was expecting for it to be a nice day, for us to do what we have to do and get a victory over Dundee-Crown. It's a minor setback for a major comeback."

And although Clemons and his coach were ready to go, Rohde said he would use the extra day to watch more tape and go over anything he missed.

"I figure it's another test, see what you can pass and deal with it. That's the way it goes," he said. "Adapt and overcome it. There's no other option."

Having an opening game postponed isn't the first dance for Andriola, who saw an opener moved back in the late 1980s against Crystal Lake South when he was a part of Woodstock's staff.

But the teams will have to endure the heat and game-time temps are slated to be in the mid-80s That's not a concern for the Chargers.

"Heat's OK with us, we play 22 guys, I don't mind, it could be 100,000 degrees," said Andriola. "It's adversity and we'll see how we come out (today). I know Elgin will come out hard too, and it'll be a good football game."

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