IHSAA assistant commissioner Robert Faulkens toured West Side's football field Oct. 15 and gave a thumbs down to the decaying conditions for sectional play. Consequently, the Cougars' home game against Lowell was moved to E.C. Central.
Faulkens is scheduled to come back to Gary this week to make a call on who will host Friday's Class 4A Sectional 17 championship game between West Side and E.C. Central.
West Side coach Jason Johnson said the Gary school board spent $20,000 to get the facility up to grade. New goal posts are in the ground and ready to go. New 25-second clocks are set and are being wired now. The light bank on the northeast corner of the field is working now.
Telephone lines and internet connections in the press box are now ready to go. And a generator for the light bank above the press box is being put in place for the game.
The locker rooms have also been cleaned and upgraded.
"We're working hard, and we want to host this game," Johnson said. "Everything will be ready. We just have to get the thumbs up."
According to the IHSAA draw, West Side is the home team in this game. But it is possible to move the game to East Chicago if the IHSAA doesn't approve of the facelift.
The Cardinals beat Griffith 51-19 in last Friday's semifinal. The Cougars beat Highland 46-27 in the other semifinal.
History will be made no matter where the game is played. Neither school has won a sectional championship.
Some felt West Side got an advantage when it hosted Lowell on E.C.'s turf field. The faster track helped the Cougars fly to a 30-9 win.
But Johnson said there is no such advantage this week.
"In our reality, they're just as fast as we are," Johnson said. "If we don't get an advantage with the field, we'd rather play at home."