TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Three more WPIAL first-round football games moved

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
 

James Swartz Memorial Field in Freeport and Buccaneer Stadium in Lower Burrell will remain soggy, dark and quiet on Friday night while their teams are busy hosting playoff games on the road.

Poor field conditions on natural grass fields at Freeport, Burrell and Monessen — and more rain in the forecast — prompted three more WPIAL first-round playoff games involving local teams to move to alternative sites with artificial turf playing surfaces.

All games remain 7:30 p.m. Friday.

In Class AA, No. 7 seed Freeport (7-2) will now play No. 10 Beaver Falls at Highlands, while No. 8 Burrell (8-1) plays No. 9 Mt. Pleasant (7-2) at Valley.

In Class A, No. 12 Apollo-Ridge (6-3) will face Monessen (8-1) at Charleroi.

“We wanted to have some control of where we played to allow our fan base the opportunity to come and support our team,” Burrell athletic director Brian Ferra said. “We felt that moving the game to Valley allowed us this opportunity.”

Remnants of Hurricane Sandy have given new meaning to home-field advantage in these playoffs, which have yet to begin. On Tuesday, Class A No. 8 Springdale (6-3) moved its home game against No. 9 Brentwood (6-3) to Fox Chapel.

Citing safety concerns and trying to avoid mud bowls, the WPIAL nudged schools hosting games on grass fields to move to nearby turf fields, and became insistent on the new locations due to the pending forecast.

Bottom line: The league likely would have moved games had schools not acted first. That was the impression Freeport and Burrell received while dealing with league officials on Wednesday.

“If they don't find a field, then we're going to have to find one, because we can't have a game played on an unplayable surface,” WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said.

Freeport athletic director Todd O'Shell thought Swartz Field was suitable, but a WPIAL official evaluated the field Wednesday and figured more rain would change that perception.

“Highlands has been very accommodating in the short amount of time we provided them,” O'Shell said. “They've been great to help us make their field the temporary home of the Yellowjackets for a few days.”

Freeport practiced at Highlands on Wednesday night and will do the same Thursday. Burrell is practicing at Plum.

Bill Beckner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Football

  1. WPIAL, coaches are still looking to schedule Week 9 rivalry games
  2. Ford City, Kittanning matchup to be part of SI.com’s ‘Underdogs’
  3. Previewing some of Western Pa.’s top Week 9 matchups
  4. High school football notebook: WPIAL might welcome another team next year
  5. Now in Class A, rivals GCC, Jeannette to battle for 2nd place in Eastern Conference
  6. Gorman: A WPIAL playoff drought about to end
  7. West Mifflin hoping to spoil TJ’s perfect season
  8. The Leader eager for Kittanning finale
  9. Skiles has Bentworth headed in right direction
  10. Heavyweights West Allegheny, Central Valley meet in test for Parkway
  11. Leader Times Q&A: Redbank Valley’s Wyatt Hetrick
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.