Solon Takes Down Normandy 44-0 In Wild Weather Affair

Homecoming is a tradition the students look forward to each year at Solon High School. During the week, the students get excited for the football game on Friday and the dance the following day. It is a fall tradition the students look forward to each year and the school has many traditions associated with it.

The traditions that the school has every year for Homecoming include a football game, pep rally and a dance on the Saturday of the weekend. The school can easily control what goes on with these traditions but there is one element that can never be controlled during the football game: the weather. The last few years have been nice weather wise for the football game but last night was an exception.

When walking into Solon’s Stewart Field, the dark clouds started to roll in but there were no rain drops coming down. The clouds definitely looked like they were going to burst and it was only going to be a matter of time before the fans and students in attendance were going to get an evening shower.

After the pregame ceremony where the Homecoming Court was announced (I did get to see a former teacher of mine, Jill Frimel-Harvey before the ceremony), the clouds started to get darker and it reminded me of the Homecoming games when I was a student at Solon High School. During my four years of high school, it rained at each Homecoming football game. The joke was that it was not Homecoming unless it was raining. I used to joke about that when doing play-by-play for SETV and Chuck Chokenea couldn’t help but laugh when I brought that up during the broadcast.

Normandy had been struggling coming into this game and there was no doubt this was a must-win game for Solon. The Comets had struggled the previous week against a tough North Royalton team and I could tell Solon was determined to play strong in this game. It was Homecoming but I could feel the intensity the players had during pre-game warmups.

Not too long after kickoff, it wouldn’t take Solon long to use that intensity on the field. Solon senior quarterback/running back George Berry did throw an interception on the Comets’ first possession but it would be the only mistake the Comets would make in that half. Normandy got a taste of how talented and fast Solon running back Khoury Crenshaw when Crenshaw would score four of his five touchdowns on the night in the first half. Crenshaw played with intensity and determination for the entire game and ended up with 180 yards rushing. With the help of a Keon Hemmerlein field goal, Solon was up 31-0 at halftime.

Crenshaw did get knocked out of bounds at one point and landed on my feet after the hit. I did not get hurt at all but it did remind me the last time I had gotten run into on a sidelines for a high school football game. It was in college and I was working the down camera during a high school football game when a late hit out of bounds sent me flying into the kicking net. I was not hurt at all and was laughing as I was collecting myself. I still managed to get the shot and the camera survived the hit. I could hear our announcer that night, Andy Chow, go on in my headset about how he thought I was dead after getting hit like that. He must have rambled on for a good amount of time because I was asked by our director that night to wave to the pressbox to let him know I was okay. Sure enough, Andy was relieved I survived the hit and his broadcast partner Brett Hiltbrandt was laughing as I gave a wave and a thumbs up to the pressbox.

The clouds opened up during the middle of the 1st quarter and it started out as a drizzle. By the time the second quarter started, it was pouring hard enough to the point, I had to have an umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other. It was not the most ideal way to take pictures but it kept the camera dry and I was still able to get a lot of good shots. I was glad it was not damp and cold and my cowboy hat helped keep my head dry too.

I noticed that the crowd was quiet as it started to drizzle and it felt quieter when it started to pour. More golf umbrellas and ponchos as the rain continued to pour down. I have noticed that cold weather or rainy weather sometimes can quiet a crowd and there were a lot of fans that headed for the exits by halftime. Even underneath the stands at Stewart Field, there are not a lot of places to get out of the rain in that stadium.

With the game being lopsided as the Comets took a 44-0 lead in the third quarter, I noticed the Solon student section was still trying to find ways to have fun despite the weather. They were still coming up with different ways to cheer on the Comets and at one point, started chanting my name. They kept asking me to come over and take pictures of them and I have to admit that it was fun to hear that. In all the years I have been taking pictures, that was the first time my name had been chanted from the student section and it was awesome. Their support really means a lot to me.

The game ended and I couldn’t help but notice how much fun I had despite the weather elements. Even though the rain made it difficult to take pictures at certain times, it was still a lot of fun being out on the sidelines for a win that was important to the Solon players and coaches. It was an incredible time and I cannot wait for Medina to come to town next weekend.

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~ by jeffrsabo on September 22, 2012.

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