Smoke has returned to the Rogue Valley and thrown a massive wrench into the sports schedule, with a lingering impact that could stretch into the weekend.
Ashland High School’s football game on the road at rival Eagle Point scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night was postponed Grizzlies head coach Beau Lehnerz and athletic director Karl Kemper confirmed. The new kickoff time will be at 1 p.m. this afternoon at Eagle Point.
Due to the close proximity of the two schools — all of about 25 miles — Ashland and Eagle Point were able to put off a decision on whether they would be able to play the game until 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. However, the final verdict ended up being like every other game that was set to be played locally involving schools like North Medford, Crater, Phoenix and St. Mary’s — it got moved to another day.
The problem with this latest influx of smoke into the Rogue Valley is that its impact might not be on only Friday night football.
Ashland’s lone home cross country meet of the season, the State of Jefferson Invitational, is still scheduled for an 11 a.m. start time this morning, Kemper said. With over 20 schools and around 300 runners set to take part in the meet, a decision will be made around 8 a.m. Saturday as to whether the meet can go forward as scheduled.
Both Ashland High soccer teams are also set to compete at home this afternoon against Thurston. Kemper said that a decision to play those games will be made around the same time as the status for the State of Jefferson since Thurston will have to make the lengthy trip down from Springfield.
At the college level, Southern Oregon University announced Friday morning that the Raiders’ men’s and women’s soccer games against both Northwest Christian and Corban were pushed back a day due to the air quality concerns.
Games were scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Raider Stadium on Friday, with new start times set for 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. today against Northwest Christian. The same kickoff times will be used for the Corban matchups, with the men’s game being a meeting between the two teams currently tied for first atop the Cascade Conference standings.
Oregon Tech, SOU’s travel partner for men’s and women’s soccer, also pushed its games set for this weekend back a day due to unhealthy air quality in Klamath Falls. The Owls will now face Corban and Northwest Christian on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.