Oologah Prepared For When Weather Threatens Friday Football

Friday, September 18th 2015, 11:19 pm
By: News On 6

Friday night’s storms forced several high school football games to start later than expected or to cancel outright.

The Broken Arrow and Union, Jenks and Owasso, Hale and Edison and Lawton and Sapulpa games were all canceled.

Oolagah didn’t cancel, but fans had to wait an extra thirty minutes for their homecoming celebration.

For days like Friday, when the weather is questionable, school administrators said they have a protocol in place to keep everyone safe.

9/18/2015 Related Story: Threat Of Severe Weather Delaying Football Games Across Green Country

Friday night, streaks of lightning and rumbles of thunder could be seen and heard in Oologah, but fans were still out there, hoping the weather would hold off just long enough.

Forty years ago, in 1975, a group of friends walked the Oolagah campus as students; Friday night, Michael Noble, and others returned as alumni.

"All my kids went here, all my brothers went here, so go mustangs," he said.

Noble said, with so much family history there, he would stand the rain just to cheer his team to victory.

"A little rain don't hurt nothing; we just play ball," he said.

Rain is one thing, but lightning is another.

Noble said, "When it goes to lightning I go to the house."

School administrators feel the same way. Oolagah Athletic Director Brandon Craig said, on game night, monitoring the weather is an important job.

"All day, I've probably watched five or six different newscasts. I checked the Internet, and, obviously with phones and all the technology we have nowadays, we are constantly looking at the radar," he said.

Craig said the artificial turf absorbs the rain so the game can go on. However, if lightning is seen by school representatives or picked up by lightning detectors, there is an immediate delay of game.

"We want to put the safety of our students and fans first, that’s the number one goal. There are no events or activities that’s more important than that," he said.

Fans are asked to leave the stadium and advised to wait in their cars while the teams wait it out in the locker rooms.

The required wait time is 30 minutes, and if there are no new lightning strikes the game can start again. If there are new strikes, however, that 30-minute clock starts over.

Noble said, "I hope that it holds off, but it's not looking good I can tell you that."

The athletic director said in the past seven years he's been there, they've only had to pause the game one time.