The Vienna-Goreville Eagles had to celebrate their first victory of the season, and their first over opponent Johnston City since the team began competing at the varsity level four years ago, without head coach Mike Rude on the field due to extreme heat conditions.
Saturday’s season opener in Vienna arrived with sweltering heat that put several players, fans, a cheerleader, coach Rude and two referees in the hands of emergency medical technicians who treated them for heat exhaustion.
With temperatures in the upper 90’s, the heat index was reported to have reached 105 degrees Saturday leading both teams to work their cold-towel brigades overtime and many to speculate a postponement of the game.
The game completed as scheduled, but the junior varsity game was canceled due to the heat.
The Eagles went on to defeat the Indians 14-8.
Coach Rude was taken to an area hospital and treated for heat exhaustion.
Prior to the start of the season, the Illinois High School Association issued a heat acclimatization brochure and a preseason football acclimatization practice period policy to help reduce heat and sports injuries.