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Copyright 2013 The State Journal- Register
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The State Journal- Register (Springfield, IL)
September 22, 2013 Sunday
398 words
Caton: Crew signed contract 2 years ago
Ryan Mahan

Staff Writer

Both the Urbana and Lanphier high school football teams were ready to play Friday night at Memorial Stadium. The concession stand was open. The fans were seated. The band was playing.

But the officiating crew that had been assigned to the game was nowhere to be found, despite a contract signed with the crew more than two years ago.

Dave Givens of Vandalia and his crew were instead working Granite City 's 21-20 win at Collinsville on Friday night in a Southwestern Conference game.

Lanphier athletic director Brian Caton said on Saturday that the contract for Friday's game was signed with Givens' officiating crew in January 2011 but that apparently Givens' crew got double-booked.

"For whatever reason, he didn't mark it in his calendar or didn't double-check the arbiter (an online listing of officiating assignments) and took another assignment at some point," Caton said.

While the crowd sat waiting on a game that would eventually be postponed to today, Lanphier officials tried to find officials to work the game. One Urbana fan, who is also a registered official, volunteered and Herman Senor had been called from working the scoreboard at the Southeast game and had offered to officiate.

But Caton said he needed one more official before they would've played.

"We did not feel comfortable for the safety of the kids going with two," Caton said. "If we had three, we were going to go with three (and that's) obviously not ideal."

Officials for home non-conference games involving all Central State Eight teams are assigned by CS8 conference assignor of officials Rick Karhliker.

Urbana officials told Caton they would be unable to secure return transportation to Springfield on such short notice. Since Lanphier already had busss scheduled for a sophomore game Saturday morning, both schools decided to cancel that game and use Lanphier's buses for the varsity team.

Caton now wishes he had given that decision more time.

"I feel horribly for (Lanphier coach Jason) Nikson and the team," Caton said.

"I didn't know what else to say to the guy. A hundred times I've talked to him and I don't know what else to keep telling him."

Once the decision was made to move the game to Saturday in Urbana, fans were given money back or a ticket for a later game at Memorial Stadium.

Ryan Mahan can be reached at 788-1546. Follow him at

September 23, 2013


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