Prep Football

IHSAA expected to reject West Side's field conditions for sectional play

2013-10-16T22:00:00Z 2014-06-24T18:08:31Z IHSAA expected to reject West Side's field conditions for sectional playSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com
October 16, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

Indiana High School Athletic Association Assistant Commissioner Robert Faulkens toured the football facility at West Side on Wednesday, looking to see if the grounds were fit to host a sectional game.

He saw maintenance people working, electricians doing their jobs and the head of grounds at the school supervising. But West Side football coach Jason Johnson summed up what he thought Faulkens took in.

"He wasn't impressed," Johnson said.

West Side drew Lowell in the Class 4A Sectional 17 opener on Oct. 25, but serious facility issues in recent years brought the IHSAA to Gary for a further inspection.

Johnson was awaiting Faulkens' final call on Wednesday night, but had not heard the IHSAA's final decision by 9 p.m. Wednesday.

"He said he would send us a report (tonight)," Johnson said.

In the Oct. 4 game against Morton, there were several issues that went awry. The clock malfunctioned on several occasions. There were two banks of lights out making the players compete in darkness.

"He wasn't impressed with our facilities," Johnson said.

Johnson said that Faulkens spoke about other options for where the game could be moved to, such as Highland or E.C. Central, two nearby schools who play on the road in the sectional opener.

Roosevelt's field was discussed but it was rejected because of its lack of grass in the middle of the field and suspect bleachers, Johnson said. 

Attempts to reach Faulkens and IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox were unsuccessful Wednesday night. A phone call to Lowell coach Keith Kilmer was also not returned.

Johnson said that Faulkens told him that West Side was still the home team and the Cougars most likely will have to find an alternate site for the game.

It is still a possibility that the game could be moved to Lowell, if an alternate site is not found in time.

"We have to have it finalized by (tonight)," Johnson said.

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