Hail, pelting rain, a lighting delay, a change of venue and a quickly darkening sky couldn’t keep Raider spirits down, even though the match closed on a 4-nil CCS win.
“It was a strange night. We were able to honor our seniors, which was great. We played a game against a really good CCS team, but with the conditions being what they were we just couldn’t establish any kind of rhythm. This is one, as far as the play on the field, you just forget about and move on,” explained Raider head coach John Brose.
Game time was moved up from a 7 p.m. start to 6 o’clock to accommodate for the severe storms quickly approaching the area.
Chattanooga Christian showed off its skills early by possessing the ball well and slicing through the Cleveland defense and putting up a pair of goals early in the first half before the storm came in hard.
Hail peppered the field as players and fans alike were affected before the end of the first half. Those in attendance quickly sought shelter from the sheets of rain and the tiny icy missiles while the game was postponed because of the conditions.
But, the Raiders were determined to make an outing out of the evening, and when the weather broke everyone was anxious to get back on the pitch.
The first order of business when the skies cleared was to honor the soccer program’s numerous seniors in a hurried senior night program.
In total nine CHS seniors were recognized for their contributions to the team. Goalkeeper Pierson Bunch, defender Rob Cooke, Forward Javier Francisco, keeper CJ Garrett, forward Seth Goza, defender Sterling Hines, midfielder Brandon Lewis, midfielder Jake Morris and midfielder Fernando Ramirez were all honored by the soccer program.
After the presentation both teams moved to one of the lower pitches at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex because of flooding on the main field.
“In my eight years of coaching and my entire time coaching I don’t know if I have ever seen anything like this. The hail, the senior night, the lightning delay and the changing fields made for a very interesting evening. It was one for the books,” joked Brose.
Play didn’t get much prettier with the change of venue. Chattanooga Christian continued its onslaught while another storm system loomed on the horizon.
The squads wrapped up the remainder of the first half, before taking a very brief halftime break and returning to the field to try and cram in as much of the second half as they could.
@:With conditions quickly deteriorating the Chargers grabbed a pair of goals to bring the score to 4-nil before the referees called the game due to the lack of light and the eminent second storm system.
Cleveland’s last regular season match will take place Tuesday at East Ridge, before the Raiders return home next weekend to kick off the District 5-AAA tournament against either Rhea County or Walker Valley.