Friday night’s season-opening contest between host Hoffman Estates and visiting Downers Grove North got off to a late start due to the freshman game kicking off late and a very special pregame memorial tribute moving the start to almost 8 p.m.
Then power issues involving two of Garber Stadium’s four field light towers forced the postponement to Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. with the host Hawks ahead 6-0 with 9:20 remaining in the first quarter. When the game resumes the visiting Trojans will begin their first offensive series at their own 27-yard line.
“You can’t control this and unfortunately we have some electrical issues,” Hoffman Estates athletic director Steve Lacni said after discussing the situation with game officials and his Downers Grove North counterpart Denise Kavanaugh. They met after the third stoppage of play took place shortly after the Hawks scored on their opening possession on a 16-yard Aiden Cyr touchdown toss to Stephon Sellers.
“Player safety is No. 1 and the officials and the (school) administration is all over it,” Lacni added. “So you take care of the kids first and do whatever we need to do to keep them safe and provide a safe environment for them to play.”
Things began on a somber note as a moment of silence was observed for Hawks gridiron alum Scott Stoczynski who died in an automobile accident in Texas just six weeks ago. He was 33.
Stoczynski, a three-year letterman (2004-06), was a two-way starter for Hoffman at tight end and linebacker. He earned MSL all-conference, Daily Herald All-Area, and All-State honors that led him to continue his playing career at North Dakota State. His performance there on both defense and special teams helped the Bison to the NCAA Division I FCS quarterfinals in his redshirt junior season (2010) and a FCS national title the following season as a fifth-year senior.
Stoczynski was in his third year at San Antonio-based First Trust Portfolios as a vice president after having spent a six-year career in law enforcement which included stints as a North Dakota state trooper and as a probation officer in the Chicago area.