HARVEY | Thornton coach Bill Mosel and his football team will have to wait one more day before they can open the 2013 season.
The Wildcats' game against Morgan Park was delayed when severe storms came through the area Friday night. School officials and the officiating crew conferred and made the decision to delay the game just after 7 p.m. The game will be played at 6 p.m. today at Thornton.
Mosel said when he was leaving the school an hour and a half later, there was still plenty of lightning in the area.
"You wanted to play, but the safety of the fans and the players comes into play," Mosel said after the decision. "I believe there were tornado warnings in the area, and it's still lightning out now at 8:30. The problem is every lightning strike you reset the half hour clock."
The delay comes on the opening weekend for high school football in Illinois, and Mosel said that made it a little tougher to swallow.
"Everybody's trying to get their season started," Mosel said. "And I'm sure, we're not the only ones in this situation tonight. The players are ready to go, and they've been looking forward to this the whole summer. They're ready to go, and now you're not going for 24 hours."
The Wildcats are looking to get off to a quick start in 2013 after going 8-3 in 2012 and making it to the second round of the 7A playoffs.
With Thornton Township taking the field for the first time this season, Mosel believes the Wildcats need to concentrate on and execute their own offense and defense, and not worry about what Morgan Park will bring to tonight's game.
"Being the first game, you're more worried about what you're going to do," Mosel said. "That's what you can control."
Thornton has an impressive offense on paper, featuring quarterback JoWahn Brown and wide receiver Jauan Westley, and should be able to put up plenty of points in 2013. Mosel said he is more concerned with the defensive side of the ball.
"Our concern is the inexperience of the D-line," Mosel said. "That side of the ball is our main concern, and we'll see how they develop."