Pandemic costing football team games at home field

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:26 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN FURNACE, Ohio (WSAZ) - While everyone is hoping COVID-19 doesn’t have a chaotic impact again on this football season, one team’s schedule is already significantly impacted before the opening kickoff.

The new Green High School football field was expected to be completed before this season began, but school officials say the pandemic caused delays with construction.

Instead of playing on their own campus, the Bobcats will be playing their home games 8 miles away at Wheelersburg’s field.

“It sucks,” Green senior linebacker and offensive lineman Ethan Hayslip said. “It does, finishing up not playing on your own field, but Wheelersburg has a great, beautiful stadium for us to play in.”

It is possible Green’s stadium could be finished before the season is over, and the team could get to play a game or two there. School officials say that’ll depend on how the weather cooperates.

Green second-year head coach Chad Coffman says they can see construction work being done as they head to their temporary practice field in front of the school.

“We come out of the locker room and see what they’re doing, and we’ll be excited to get out there,” Coffman said.

After missing three games last fall, they say playing anywhere is inifitely better than not playing at all.

“Normally that’s a playoff situation to be on a neutral field of that calibur, so I think we’ll embrace it and enjoy it,” Coffman said. “It’ll be a good opportunity for us.”

“At least I know leaving here, my buddies will have a field to play on after I’m gone,” Hayslip said. “We’re ready to get those 10 games in. Let’s just pray nothing happens.”

Green opens their season Friday night at Eastern in Meigs County.

The new Green school building was supposed to open next school year, but school officials say construction delays have pushed that back, as well.

Construction of the new school building and sports facilities was made possible thanks to a levy that passed in 2018, which school leaders and community members fought years for.

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