On Saturday, the Storm football team will host Cornell College at 6 p.m. at Buxton Stadium.
According to the information available to Sports Information Director Matt Turk, it is believed that this is the first night home game played at Simpson since 1975. During that game the Storm lost to William Penn by a score of 24-6.
Also according to Turk, the last time the Storm football program played a game past the normal 1 p.m. start time was in 2002 when Simpson beat Dubuque by a score of 32-0. That game had a start time of 4 p.m.
According to Athletic Director John Sirianni, the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference typically plays football games at 1 p.m.
“This is mostly a historical thing,” Sirianni said. “For a game to be played at a different time, both teams have to agree.”
According to junior defensive tackle Luke Stover, for Simpson to play a home game under the lights is causing much excitement for Simpson players, coaches, and everyone else involved in the Simpson community.
“I am very excited for the game next weekend,” Stover said. “I haven’t played under the lights since high school.”
Sirianni agrees with Stover.
“There is just something about playing under the lights that is special,” Sirianni said. “The atmosphere is fun and exciting.”
There will also be soccer games taking place on Saturday. The women’s team plays at noon and the men’s team plays at 2 p.m.
According to Sirianni, the soccer games are part of the reason that Simpson is hosting the night football game.
“The soccer teams were originally scheduled to have games that night,” Sirianni said. “The soccer coaches from Buena Vista didn’t want to play late games, so we thought we would see if Cornell would want to play a night football game.”
The coach from Cornell agreed on the 6 p.m. start time, and according to Sirianni, they are excited to play under the lights too.
According to Turk, it is also logistically easier to convert the stadium from soccer to football. During soccer games, only half of the bleachers are used, so it will be easier to go from soccer to football.
Stover feels that this will be a good way to get more people in attendance.
“I think more people will show up because people might have other stuff going on during the day,” Stover said. “This way people will be done with their other activities and will be able to attend the game in the evening.”
From a public relations standpoint, Turk feels that having the night game will be a good way to set us apart from the other schools in the conference. It could be an opportunity for the program to get their game covered.
Sirianni feels that this game will be a good trial to see how night games go.
“If everything goes well then we will look for other opportunities to play night games in the future,” Sirianni said.
Stover also hopes to see another night game in the future.
“I don’t know if I would want to play under the lights every game,” Stover said. “But I am glad we do get to play at night at least once, and hope we can do it next year also.”
If you are unable to make it to the game on Saturday, it will be broadcasted online at http://www.redzonemedia.com. It can also be heard locally in Indianola on KSTM, 88.9 FM.