Another Saturday night under the lights

by Zach JevneStaff Writer

Many college football players don’t get to play under lights after they leave high school, but on Halloween night Simpson College will host Cornell in a prime-time conference showdown.

This isn’t the first time that Simpson has held a game under the lights at Buxton Stadium. Two years ago, they played Cornell at 7 p.m.

Coach Jim Glogowski said hosting a night game can be a nice change for the team.

“It creates a different atmosphere, a little more excitement,” Glogowski said. “Hopefully our student body will get excited for it.”

The fact that it is on Halloween night will certainly add something to the game. Costumes will be donned in the stands and maybe even on the sidelines, Glogowski joked.

When the lights come on Oct. 31, it will only be natural for players to remember playing under Friday night lights.

“I would relate it to high school, more or less,” senior quarterback Tyson Unkrich said. “Being able to play under the lights again takes you back to those memories. It’s a nice change-up.”

Even with the added excitement, there can be potential obstacles to adjust to when game times change. Typically, all Iowa Conference football games begin at 1 p.m. Football teams like to stick to a routine when it comes to preparing each week.

“Football teams are, by nature, creatures of habit,” Glogowski said. “You play once a week for 10 weeks so you get very structured in what you’re trying to do. I don’t know that a different start time is a positive or a negative, we will just have to change our pre-game routine.”

The conference is open to more night games in the future, as long as both schools agree to it. The game on Halloween was Simpson’s idea, and Cornell agreed.

On Oct. 17, Simpson’s schedule will again be altered from the normal 1 p.m. kickoff when they host Dubuque at 4 p.m. This scheduling change came about in order to cut costs for the traveling team. Dubuque will travel to Simpson the day of the game instead of staying overnight.

“This is a cost-saving measure that was discussed at the athletic directors meetings,” Athletic Director John Sirianni said. “If a team has lights and the visiting team could avoid an overnight stay, it was suggested that the two schools try to accommodate the visiting team.”

Sometimes a one-day trip isn’t in the best interest on the traveling team. For instance, it would take Simpson four hours to travel to Luther, who doesn’t have lights on their field.

Coaches and players don’t see much of a difference with starting three hours later in order for Dubuque to travel in one day. Even though the team likes routine, adapting to change is a characteristic coveted by good teams. Whether it’s the middle of the afternoon or under the lights, the Storm will be ready for the challenge.

“I think the guys will adjust to it pretty well,” Unkrich said. “We’re still focused on what we have to do and the task at hand.”