For the second time this season, the Racine Raiders are in a position of having to scramble to find an opponent.
The Dayton (Ohio) Hornets (2-5), who were scheduled to play the Raiders Saturday in a 7 p.m. non-league game at Horlick Field, informed Raiders management Tuesday that they will not be making the trip to Racine.
Unlike the first incident this season, when the Chillicothe (Mo.) Swarm claimed they were unable to travel for the Raiders’ scheduled June 1 season-opener because of flooding in Missouri, the Hornets’ explanation was far more dubious.
“It’s unclear right now,” Raiders president Matt Nelson said when asked why the Hornets were not coming to Racine. “We tried to get hold of them numerous times over the weekend and finally on Tuesday, we got hold of them and they said they weren’t coming. They wouldn’t give a reason why.”
Nelson is obviously not happy with a second cancellation in a little more than a month. The Raiders were not able to find an opponent when the Swarm cancelled and it remains to be seen whether they will be able to this week.
“I’m disappointed,” Nelson said. “This weekend is a pretty big weekend for us because we honor our veterans. We really want to show them that we appreciate what they’ve done for us and what they continue to do for us.
“We had a big weekend planned, so it’s disappointing in that regard.”
Nelson said the Raiders (4-0) did the necessary work on verifying the Hornets’ credibility before scheduling them for this season.
“Before we OK’d these guys to come in and play, we talked to other teams from that same league (the Premier Amateur Football League),” Nelson said. “We know that the Columbus Fire plays with them. Some other teams we have contact with know them and they vouched for them. “They said, ‘These guys are legit.’ So I don’t know what happened.”
Nelson’s staff has been working to salvage this weekend, even reaching out to the Swarm about coming to Racine. As of Wednesday afternoon, Saturday has yet to be filled and Nelson feels a commitment will be needed by Thursday afternoon.
“It’s not like the last time where we only had one day,” he said. “If we don’t get anything by (Thursday) afternoon, we’ll probably just call it. But we have a couple feelers out there.”