Chance of rain: 100 percent.

Chance of TAPPS football? We'll see.

The weather predictions in Dallas as the four East Texas TAPPS teams head west for Friday's games are, to say the least, wet.

That won't phase All Saints coach Mike Hall, however.

Hall, after all, has coached in a hurricane.

"It really wasn't bad," said Hall, who at the time was coaching in Orlando, Florida. "It was low grade, so I didn't notice it raining as hard as my wife said it was.

"I still remember we threw the ball some that night. Shoot, we played well and won. It was a good night."

Whether or not the rains on Friday are hurricane force, the teams will hope the lightning stays away so that the games can be completed.

Only Dallas Christian and Bishop Gorman, who vie for district supremacy in Mesquite, will have to deal with the grass Mike Wheeler Field. Grace Community at Carrollton Prince of Peace, Bullard Brook Hill at Frisco Legacy Christian and All Saints at Dallas Shelton (at Plano John Paul II's field) will be on turf, much more resistant to the elements than a grass field.

Hall's experience of coaching in a hurricane could come in handy with flash flood warnings released for the Dallas area. He joked his team enjoyed plenty of coverage from the local media as one of two games in all of Orlando playing that night more than a dozen years ago.

One thing he's learned over the years, while fans may lament the wet weather, those on the field don't seem to mind.

"The kids love it when it's raining," Hall said. "If it's a downpour they'll have fun with it. We're hoping the lightning stays away because that can play havoc."

Given the properties of a wet football, traditional wisdom says rain favors a running football team over one that throws the ball more.

Grace, with a perfectly balanced offense (1,574 yards passing, 1,574 rushing), faces a Prince of Peace team that runs the triple option, toting the ball on 88 percent of its offensive plays.

"Regardless of really who it favors, you've still got to go out there and block and tackle and see who's the most physical team," Cougars coach Mike Maddox said.

Maddox said the team has been practicing with wet footballs all week to prepare for Friday night.

"The good news is both teams have to play in it," Maddox said. "What we've got to do is do a great job with ball security and finishing our blocks, playing to the whistle."

Of course, a sloppy field could change all of that, as the two remaining league unbeatens may find out on Friday.

However both Gorman and Dallas Christian are accustomed to playing on grass, and TKG coach Coby Gipson said Charger Stadium's Wheeler Field will be ready to deal with a deluge.

"They do a really good job with their field," Gipson said. "It's one of the nicest facilities we play at. It's not going to be an issue in my mind.

"We're just preparing to play a four-quarter football game. We prepare the exact same."

Gorman won't be worried about the rain or the field conditions, Gipson said.

"In our book in our program, that's just like an injury or a sickness, that's just an excuse," Gipson said of inclement weather. "We aren't going to blame the rain for anything; we're prepared for it mentality and prepared for it physically."

The Crusaders used that philosophy to beat Brook Hill 21-19 last week. With usual kicker Martin Guzman unavailable, Daniel Schmitt stepped in and kicked extra points and kickoffs. In a game decided by two points, that proved vital.

"We talk about that all the time with our team as far as injuries, sickness, those are all just excuses that teams use when they lose," Gipson said. "For our guys we see that as an opportunity for the next guy to step up and show the work he's put in and prove his ability."

At 7-0, the lone unbeaten in TAPPS D-II District 2, Gorman has seen more bright days this fall than most teams.

Friday night, with temperatures and rain likely dropping rapidly, it will test the resolve of all the teams in action.


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