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Floods force Southmoreland football team to move home game

Kelly Vernon | For the Daily Courier
Southmoreland athletic director Charlie Swink surveys the damage caused by flooding to the artificial turf at Russ Grimm Field.

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Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, 11:33 p.m.

The high school football season hasn't started, but Southmoreland already has been dealt a loss. The Scotties were scheduled to begin their season Friday with a home game against Jeannette, but that will not happen.

Heavy rains that fell late last week flooded the artificial turf at Russ Grimm Field, forcing Southmoreland to lose a home date. The decision to move the game was made Monday.

The game will be played at another location, and a final decision on that location is expected Tuesday.

“We're still in assessment mode,” Southmoreland Superintendent John Molnar said. “We're trying to get this done correctly.”

Molnar said district officials met with insurance representatives and those from ProGrass, which installed the surface in 2006.

“It was just flooded,” Southmoreland football coach Mark Adams said. “When I got here (Friday), I saw the devastation.”

The Scotties were scheduled to host Jefferson-Morgan in a scrimmage last week, but the scrimmage was moved to Jefferson-Morgan after Russ Grimm Field had been damaged.

Adams noted that the Scotties moved their practices to the grass field next to the stadium.

Because it is unknown where Friday's game will be played, Adams is hoping to secure at least one practice session on an artificial turf field.

It's not known when Russ Grimm Field will be restored to playing condition.

“They are trying to give us a temporary fix so we can at least have two or three home games,” Adams said.

Southmoreland's next scheduled home game is Sept. 13 against Mt. Pleasant.

The flooded field also will likely have an impact on the schedule for the Southmoreland boys and girls soccer teams. Both teams play their home games at Russ Grimm Field.

Southmoreland's boys team is scheduled to host South Park in a season opener Sept. 3. The girls team is scheduled to play Bentworth in its home opener Sept. 7. Those dates likely will be changed.

“We will be changing the schedule times and may try to play more away the first half of the season,” Southmoreland athletic director Charlie Swink said.

Paul Paterra contributed. Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at

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