Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

Football: Weather wreaks havoc on Week 1

The excitement and optimism that surrounds Week 1 every new high school football season was alive and well around Carroll County, particularly with five teams playing their first games at home Friday night.

Then, Mother Nature decided to crash the party.


Severe storms cropped up in the region and lingered long enough to postpone six of the seven games on the schedule, making those six teams have to wait until Saturday to play their season openers.

In Westminster, The Owls will host Urbana on Saturday at 4 p.m., while Winters Mill hosts Joppatowne at 1 p.m.


Manchester Valley’s home game with Williamsport was also washed out and reset for Saturday at 5 p.m.

Liberty started its Week 1 home contest against Boys’ Latin and led 13-0 before a weather delay set in in Eldersburg. Officials waited until just before 9 p.m. to postpone the game and have it resume Saturday at 4 p.m.

Century’s home game against John Carroll was also washed out. The makeup is Saturday at 4 p.m. in Eldersburg.

Francis Scott Key traveled to North East in Cecil County for its Week 1 tilt and experienced a delay as well. That game was delayed and then postponed around 9 p.m., and reset for Saturday morning at 11.

South Carroll was the lone county squad to play Friday — the Cavaliers visited Edmondson of Baltimore City for an afternoon game, before any bad weather found its way to the area, in Mike Kraus’ first game as coach.

SC fell behind early however and never recovered in a 28-7 loss. TJ Hogan had the Cavs’ touchdown in the third quarter.

Carroll adheres to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association rules when it comes to thunder and lightning at outdoor sporting events.

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The MPSSAA states “if thunder and/or lightning can be heard or seen, participants, spectators, and staff are in danger. Contests must be stopped and protective shelter sought immediately. In the event that either situation should occur, 30 minutes will be allowed to pass after the last sound of thunder and/or lightning strike before resuming play.”


County high schools are also equipped with Outdoor Alerting System devices, which can detect lighting within an 8-mile radius of each campus. When detected, an alarm sounds for 15 seconds, and all spectators and participants are required to leave the stadium and seek shelter.

A strobe light emanates from the OAS device, perched on the roof of the school in view of the athletic fields, for the duration of the at-risk time frame.

Many Carroll teams are entering the 2018 season with interesting storylines.

At Westminster, the Owls are slated to welcome former coach Brad Wilson — now the head man at Urbana — back to Ruby Field. Wilson coached at Westminster from 2004-2014 and guided the Owls to a Class 3A state championship appearance in 2005. He went 71-48 with the Owls and won four Carroll County championships.

Westminster topped Wilson’s Hawks on the road in last year’s season opener en route to a 10-2 season and a spot in the 3A West title game.

Bernie Koontz is set to make his coaching debut at Man Valley, replacing longtime colleague Tony Shermeyer after nine seasons. The duo coached together at Man Valley since the school’s inception in 2009.