Just as many Rhinelander High School sports teams were set to get back in the rhythm of playing games they hit another speed bump Tuesday - the weather.
A winter storm that impacted the central part of the state scrubbed the entire five-game slate RHS had planned for Tuesday evening. The following games were canceled or postponed:
RHS boys' basketball at Mosinee;
RHS wrestling at Mosinee;
RHS girls' basketball vs. Tomahawk;
RHS/Antigo girls' hockey at Marquette, Mich and
RHS boys' hockey vs. Chequamegon/Phillips.
In each case, the cancellations were the result of actions taken by other schools. Mosinee, Antigo and Tomahawk all closed early due to the snowstorm which dumped several inches of snow over the central portion of the state.
Meanwhile, Phillips made a late call to cancel after school activities, which promoted the cancellation of the boys' hockey game between the SEaLs and the Hodags just after 2:30 p.m.
"We wanted to get all the contests in tonight, but as all these other schools have their protocol, we do to," RHS activities director Brian Paulson said. "Their protocol is when school is canceled that all activities are canceled."
Of course, Rhinelander is no stranger to juggling dates of sporting events, given the events of recent weeks.
On Dec. 16 and 17, a snowstorm prompted the postponement of all RHS sporting events for that weekend. Additionally, later on Dec. 16, a joint decision between the School District of Rhinelander and the Oneida County Health Department resulted in the cancellation of all practices and games through the holiday break due to a pertussis outbreak. Saturday was the first day RHS sports teams could return to competition following that practice ban.
"I talked to some of the coaches about rescheduling. You try your best to give them dates that work best in the schedule and I've heard from two coaches at this point that said, 'Brian, just get us a game the best you can,'" Paulson said. "You just can't believe that this is going on. We obviously had cancellations over the break and now we get all this snow today.
"We'll do the best we can do. There's definitely not a lot of holes. A lot of juggling at this point, looking at home and away contests, flip-flopping home and away. With our facilities, we're looking at wrestling, gymnastics, girls' basketball and boys' basketball all trying to fit their games into our one gymnasium. We only can have one a night."
Paulson said that rescheduling conference games will take priority over non-conference games and, in a pinch, James Williams Middle School could be utilized to host varsity events. Paulson added that at this point, however, he does not feel that measure will be necessary.
One of Tuesday's games was a makeup from the earlier spate of cancellations. The RHS boys' basketball game at Mosinee was a de facto makeup date for the scheduled Dec. 16 game between the two schools in Rhinelander that was nixed due to snow. The Hodags were originally scheduled to travel to Mosinee Jan. 31, but that game was flipped to Rhinelander as a result of the Jan. 10 rescheduling.
For the Rhinelander/Antigo girls' hockey team, Tuesday's game was to have been its first since an 8-1 loss to Point/Rapids/Marshfield Dec. 13 at the Rhinelander Ice Arena. The Northern Edge on Wednesday rescheduled a game against Point/Rapids/Marshfield which will be played Thursday in Wisconsin Rapids.
Two of Tuesday's postponed games have already been rescheduled. According to Paulson, Rhinelander and Mosinee will make up their wrestling match Thursday night in Mosinee. The RHS boys' basketball team will now travel to Mosinee Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Note: On Monday, one of the final pieces of the RHS scheduling puzzle following the pertussis cancellation was laid in place. The RHS boys' swim team will host Shawano in a make-up meet Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Heck Family Community Pool. The teams were originally scheduled to swim Jan. 3.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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