CROOKSVILLE – In a sudden change of schedule, the Crooksville varsity football team will be playing every game away for the 2021 season.
The change stems from Village Park, the team’s home field, being unsafe to host games due to a variety of electrical issues.
“As many of you know, the lights at the football stadium at Village Park are in a state of disrepair and have experienced two fallen poles within the last year,” Supt. Kevin Smith said in a news release. “While the Crooksville Athletic Association is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the football field, they are not in a financial position to replace the stadium lights.”
Due to the financial conflict, the Board of Education approached the Village of Crooksville back in February to inquire about acquiring ownership of the field. By acquiring the field, the board could then fund the resources that are required to replace the existing lights and press box and ensure the field remains a safe space to host games.
“After many meetings and much discussion between the two organizations, the village does not wish to relinquish ownership of the field,” Smith said. “While we respect the village’s decision, this leaves our football program in a difficult position. To continue playing football at Village Park would require a significant financial investment from the board towards property it does not own. We were able to reach an agreement with the Village and Athletic Association to remove the existing poles to create a safe environment for our athletes and spectators.”
However, more problems arose during removal.
All transformers were found unusable and removed. The removal of the transformers leaves the field without any power source to feed the concession stand, press box or scoreboard.
Due to this, the decision was made that all Crooksville football games for the 2021 season will have to be played away.
“It’s horrible news,” Crooksville Head Coach Casey Vallee said. “It’s going to be a very different season and I hate it for my seniors.”
“Moving forward, Crooksville Schools will be pursuing alternative site options for its football games that will allow us to play in a safe environment for our athletes, parents and community supporters,” Smith said.