Game change: Naperville C. will host Marmion after COVID-19 shuts down Neuqua

  • Naperville Central head football coach Mike Stine is preparing his team to play Marmion Academy on Saturday after the Redhawks learned on Tuesday that COVID-19 protocols have forced their scheduled opponent, Neuqua Valley, to cancel.

    Naperville Central head football coach Mike Stine is preparing his team to play Marmion Academy on Saturday after the Redhawks learned on Tuesday that COVID-19 protocols have forced their scheduled opponent, Neuqua Valley, to cancel. DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO, 2016

 
By Bob Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/24/2021 9:15 PM

Naperville Central football coach Mike Stine had his team ready for a grueling practice on Tuesday.

The Redhawks were looking forward to playing Neuqua Valley on Saturday, especially after suffering a 19-14 loss in 2019 to the Wildcats.

 

But Stine had to shift gears before the start of Tuesday's practice after finding out the Wildcats would not be able to play due to COVID-19 related protocols. Shortly thereafter, the Redhawks were able to secure a game against Marmion on Sunday at 11 a.m. in Naperville.

Marmion was to have played St. Ignatius on Friday night, but that game has been canceled as well.

"I was basically standing before our team, and (Neuqua Valley) coach Bill Ellinghaus reached out to me," Stine said. "He just said the department of county health was shutting them down. We went into scramble mode trying to find an opponent. I heard rumors that two or three schools already needed to reschedule like us.

Neuqua Valley High School is located in Will County.

"It was a pretty chaotic last couple of hours," Stine said. "We had already finished three days preparing for Neuqua Valley. We told the kids to wash that out of their memory, Marmion runs a different offense than what we're used to facing, so we have to gear up to prepare."

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