FOREST TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – A lightning strike at a Michigan high school football stadium forced the final home games of the season to be played on the road.
Officials at LakeVille High School in Genesee County found out when they went to flip on the lights for a freshman football game Oct. 8, The Flint Journal reported. They determined that the stadium’s power source was hit by lightning sometime after the Oct. 4 homecoming game.
“It was purely bad luck,” said Drew Johnson, varsity football coach at the 1,400-student school.
Custom-made parts costing more than $40,000 won’t be ready until November, so the team played the last two home games of the season on the road. At Genesee High School on Friday, LakeVille held its traditional parents’ night ceremony for senior players on the roster.
Johnson said Genesee High went out of its way to make LakeVille feel at home. Genesee High allowed the visitors to use the home side of the bleachers and had the LakeVille Marching Band perform on the field for the game, which LakeVille won 30-6.
“Genesee was very gracious with their hospitality. They allowed us to have parents’ night, but it wasn’t the same feeling,” Johnson said. “We weren’t in front of the home crowd where the kids grew up.”
It’s not the first time that LakeVille has been forced away from its home field, in Forest Township near Otisville and about 60 miles northwest of Detroit.
In 2012, all home football games were moved to Collins Field, the previous home of the Davison High School football team, because of concerns with the bleachers at LakeVille. The bleachers were updated after voters passed a bond issue to pay for that and other work.
Michelle Hemingway, whose 15-year-old son Josh Weaver is on the varsity team, worked to get the measure passed for stadium repairs. While her son has two more years on the team, she said she felt bad that seniors didn’t get to play their final game at home.
“They are a team and they handled it well,” she said.
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