Here's a riddle: Why did the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District I Section 5 individual wrestling tournament conclude on a weekday when it was scheduled to finish Saturday night? Here's a hint: Blame the weather.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday's individual championships at Ridley (Pa.) High had to be concluded on Monday because of a power outage that occurred in the middle of a match between Interboro (Pa.) High's Wayne Armstrong and Chichester (Pa.) High's Dan Adamek. The bout had to be stopped and, along with the rest of the semifinal round, was concluded using manual scoreboards and stopwatches, along with auxiliary lights which were brought in to light the gym.
You can see just how dark it was in the photo above, which was posted on the Interboro wrestling booster club's Facebook page.
"We had to end it because we didn't know when the power would come back on," Ridley (Pa.) High assistant wrestling coach T.J. Meloney told the Inquirer.
The outage was the result of power lines which were damaged by an onset of dangerous winds which swept through the Philadelphia area on Saturday. And while the full-fledged semifinals were completed, the consolation semifinals, consolation finals and final-round bouts were all delayed until Monday.
The Inquirer totaled the remaining matches at 35, meaning that a large handful of wrestlers had to again make weight two days after the initial event to compete for an individual championship.
While it's unknown if any of the wrestlers failed to meet those second weigh-ins on Monday, their struggle might have been avoided if the meet had been moved to a different site. While rough weather can hit any region at any time, Ridley has a recent history of problems with electrical outages. Early in February, the Ridley wrestling team had to cancel a match against Springfield after lights at the school went out in the early morning ... and failed to be fixed until 8:30 p.m.
The bizarre events that forced the individual championships to become a two-day event may now be relegated to an odd footnote, but they aren't likely to be forgotten by anyone who was at the high school, whether they were wrestling or just looking on.
"There's nothing we can do at Ridley," Meloney told the Inquirer. "There's nothing anyone could have done. It's just an act of God and it's unfortunate."