Monessen game could be moved
With the rainy remnants of Hurricane Sandy still saturating the area, Monessen officials are considering moving Friday's WPIAL Class A playoff game to Charleroi Area Stadium.
The new Charleroi facility has an artificial surface while Memorial Stadium's field is grass.
At Monday's WPIAL football playoff pairings meeting, WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley told schools with home games on grass fields that they have an option of moving their games to an artificial surface because of the weather.
O'Malley gave schools until 9 a.m. Thursday to decide to move their games.
After that, if schools opt to stay at home, the WPIAL could step in and still move the site.
“It's a backup plan that we have talked about,” said Monessen Athletic Director Gina Naccarato. “Of course, we prefer to play the game on our own field. But if the conditions deem our field unplayable, we will move the game to Charleroi.”
Naccarato said she spoke with Charleroi Area A.D. Bill Wiltz on Tuesday and Wiltz said he was receptive to the idea.
Some schools have already moved their games, including Washington taking its contest against Shady Side Academy to Washington & Jefferson College, Rochester moving its game with Avonworth to Ambridge, Jeannette taking its game with South Allegheny to Norwin and the Brentwood-Springdale game going to Fox Chapel.
Naccarato said that moving the game would create some headaches for Monessen because there is more involved than just logistics.
“The WPIAL said if we find a field and move the game ourselves, we will still keep it as a home game, which means we will use our workers, get to keep the 50-50 and so on,” Naccarato said. “Our workers don't know that stadium, so we have to work some things out.”
She added there is another aspect to think about if Monessen opts to try and play the game at home.
“If the WPIAL moves the site, we lose all of that. It's a lot to think about and that's what we are in the process of doing,” she said.
In her talks with Wiltz, Naccarato said that it was agreed that Charleroi would get concessions if the game is moved to Charleroi Stadium.
“If we move the game, we lose some money for sure,” she said.
She added that Monessen is appreciative for the efforts extended by Charleroi on such short notice.
“I have to thank Bill Wiltz for his help in this,” she said.
As it stands now, the Greyhounds have scheduled practices at Charleroi Stadium in an effort not to muddy up the Memorial Stadium field.
Naccarato said that she and other officials will walk on the field at Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. today and make a final decision at that time.
With the rain expected to fall throughout the day, would Naccarato be more inclined to move the game?
“That's hard to say,” she said. “Its up to how our field looks and feels when we walk on it. It is a field that has traditionally drained very well.”
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.