Rock County Rage

Football wasn’t the No. 1 topic of conversation this weekend.

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, shoulder pads and run-pass options are far down the list of idle chatter topics.

In Oshkosh, recently graduated seniors played on a Titan Stadium field in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association all-star games on Saturday. They are young, which likely helped get them through the ordeal.

The Rock County Rage were scheduled to play the Wisconsin Hitmen in a Midstates Football League game at Carl F. Anderson Field in Milton on Saturday night.

That game was not played.

The reason was not the heat.

The Rage have not played a game all season. The team’s board of directors put a halt to the season about a month before the team’s June 15 opener.

“We’re taking this year off,” A.J. Albrecht, the team’s chief executive officer, said Friday night. “There was a whole lot of factors that went into that.”

Weather conditions did play a part. The constant rain that kept summer away until the past few weeks also kept the Rage off their practice fields.

“We couldn’t get outside,” Albrecht said, adding that that kept several players from committing to the season. “It got so late, and guys were like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.’

“And when we did practice, 25 guys would show up, and the guys were like, ‘Where is everybody?’”

Albrecht assessed the situation and determined it would not be worth the effort to attempt to get through a schedule. His son, Asa, is preparing for his freshman year and football season at Concordia University in Mequon, and that has taken up a lot of A.J.’s time that had been spent with the Rage the past seven summers.

Albrecht does not anticipate much of a problem getting the team back together next spring.

“I don’t believe so,” Albrecht said. “I know we have a lot of players that are excited about it. Taking time off, we rejuvenate people’s batteries. It’s a lot of commitment.”

Some of the Rage players have joined other teams in the league.

In addition, the Rage being idled will help the Milton High football field get in shape for the upcoming prep season.

And A.J. won’t be idle during the high school season. For the first time, he will be an assistant coach for the Janesville Craig team.

“I’m looking forward to that,” A.J. said. “I’m going to help wherever they need me, but during Pride Camp I worked with the line.”

So there will be football in Albrecht’s fall. It will simply be at the high school and college level, and not Saturday nights with the Rage.

“Everything just piled up on us,” Albrecht said. “We’ll come back next year.”

Tom Miller is a sports writer/page designer for The Gazette. Reach him at tmiller@gazettextra.com.