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High school football notebook: Springdale moves 1st-round game to Fox Chapel

| Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 12:36 a.m.

With Veterans Memorial Field hampered by standing water and mud, Springdale decided to move its first-round home playoff game Friday night to Fox Chapel's James Burk Athletic Complex, which has artificial turf.

Springdale (6-3), the No. 8 seed in Class A, hosts No. 9 Brentwood (6-3) at 7:30 p.m.

“Obviously, you'd like to play at home, but Fox Chapel isn't too far for our fans to go,” Springdale athletic director Ray Davis said. “We have played playoff games there in the past.”

In light of the rainy remnants of Hurricane Sandy, the WPIAL has given teams hosting playoff games on grass fields until 9 a.m. Thursday to decide if they want to move to a neighboring turf stadium.

Class-AA No. 7 seed Freeport (7-2), which hosts No. 10 Beaver Falls (8-1) Friday, will decide today whether to move its game as well. It is considering Highlands as a location.

WPIAL officials have told schools they may visit the fields to evaluate conditions.

“As far as we're concerned we have one of the best grass surfaces in Western Pennsylvania,” Freeport AD Todd O'Shell said. “And our kids feel they have earned the right to play at home.”

Burrell (8-1), the No. 8 seed in Class AA, will not decide until Thursday morning whether to move its game against No. 9 Mt. Pleasant (7-2) to another field, potentially Valley.

“We reserve the right to move them,” WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley said. “We're basically telling them it's certainly in their best interest, unless the weather changes dramatically.

“The schools don't have to move them. If they don't by 9 o'clock Thursday and the fields are deemed unplayable, we'll move them.”

Talking about practice

Six of the seven Alle-Kiski area football teams in the WPIAL playoffs have natural grass fields. Soupy field conditions also have prompted teams to seek turf fields for practice.

Apollo-Ridge, which did not practice Monday, practiced at Highlands on Tuesday and plans to be at Indiana on Wednesday and Thursday.

Burrell and Freeport have been in their gymnasiums for two days this week and may be on their practice fields Wednesday.

Kiski Area and Springdale did not practice Monday and worked out in their gyms Tuesday. Kiski Area plans to be at Highlands on Wednesday and Thursday, and Springdale will head to Fox Chapel. Knoch practiced at Butler Tuesday and will work out at Deer Lakes on Wednesday.

Kondis' 82-yard punt

Plum senior Dylan Kondis boomed a punt for the highlight reel in Plum's season finale last week at Pine-Richland. Kondis launched an 82-yarder, with the high, spiraling kick landing inside the 2-yard line and bouncing into the end zone for a net 62 yards.

The punt is on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLvUm7w-5cI&NR=1&feature=endscreen

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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