Evans Stadium has far superior lighting, bigger visitor’s stands, more gates, restrooms, concessions, parking (despite other claims) and more.
SPRINGFIELD — For anyone doubting the North vs. South divide still exists in the minds of many former Panthers and Wildcats, take a look at Facebook. The argument over where Springfield High’s football games should be played has resulted in some of the most heated comments I’ve ever read.
The Springfield City School Board of Education is considering to move the Wildcats’ football games to the high school field where North played or keep them at Evans Stadium.
Opinion seems to be divided based on what school is listed on the commentators’ high school diplomas. South grads want the games kept at Evans, while North grads want the game at the high school.
If the main decision rests solely on which stadium has the best facilities, there’s no argument at all. Evans Stadium’s facilities are provably superior in every way to the high school stadium.
Evans Stadium has more seating. The home stands are a little larger, and the visitor’s stands are much larger. The visitor’s section at the high school stadium consists of two small sections. There is gap between the sections right at midfield. Evans Stadium’s visitor’s section runs nearly goal line to goal line. Instead of a gap at midfield, Evans’ visitor stands jet up in the middle several rows.
The home and visitor’s stands at Evans Stadium are also separated, unlike the high school stadium. Each side has its own ticket booth, entrance gate, concessions and restrooms. This heavily relieves congestion and line length entering the stadium and at halftime when many people use the concession and restroom facilities. Does anyone else remember how crowded it would get for North games around the concession stand? You had to plow your way like a running back through a defensive line just to get by.
Evans Stadium also has far superior lighting. At the last night game I covered at the high school stadium (a scrimmage in 2012), the entire west end zone was completely dark. The high school stadium’s lights rest on old, rotting old wood poles.
Evans Stadium also has on-site locker rooms for both teams and officials, as well as a coaches’ office for the home team and a trainer’s room. There is none of this at the high school stadium. All of these personnel would have to wade through the crowd and walk back into Springfield High School if the games were there.
Some have said the parking situation at the high school is better. You can judge the satellite maps of the high school versus Evans Stadium for yourself. Yes, there’s more paved parking at the high school. Is there more parking space? That’s debatable. Springfield allows parking behind Evans Stadium’s home stand and behind the west end zone next to Hayward. The district has also used the field behind the visitor’s stands for parking in the past.
What about congestion leaving either stadium? I find the argument that there’s less congestion leaving the high school than Evans Stadium to be laughable. The traffic lights at Home Road and North Limestone Street stay green for about five seconds. Traffic has backed up all the way from the intersections to the high school lots in recent years for tournament basketball games that draw 2,500.
Evans Stadium also has a larger press box and a bigger, more detailed scoreboard.
If the district decides to move the games back to the high school field, it will need at the least a new scoreboard and new lighting. And even with that, it still can’t match Evans’ seating capacity or multiple restroom/concession facilities without further upgrading.
Why spend the money just get the high school stadium to the same level as Evans? Because “it’ll increase school spirit playing football by the high school?” That’s a bogus argument. Xenia, Miamisburg and Lebanon don’t seem to have problems with school spirit, and those three GWOC teams also play at stadiums at least a mile away from their high school.
The facts are Evans Stadium has vastly superior facilities and needs far less updating in future years than the high school stadium. If the district wants Springfield High’s games to be played at the best facility, Evans Stadium is the choice.
Pick ‘Em Games:
We had a decent start to our pick ‘em season. I went 12-4, while Casey went 11-5. We both missed London over Urbana, Valley View over West Liberty-Salem, Beavercreek over Xenia and Trotwood over Pickerington Central. Casey’s additional miss was Troy over Chaminade-Julienne.
We’ll try to improve this week with several difficult contests to pick.
Week One Standings
- Bryant Billing 12-4
- Casey Matteson 11-5
Shawnee at Springfield
Shawnee limps to Evans Stadium tonight to take on the Wildcats. Last year’s game was a thriller. It was a back-and-forth game Springfield won 34-21. Shawnee was within six points of the lead before Danny Davis scored on a long touchdown run with about two minutes left to solidify the win.
Davis, who rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s game, is back to lead the Wildcats. Most of Springfield’s offense is back. Saalih Muhammad, Shawnee’s former quarterback, gets the chance to play against his former team on Friday. Muhammad is one of several tall, strong and quick receivers the Braves will have to defend.
Springfield struggled (maybe stumbled is a better word) in its season-opening lopsided loss to Dublin Coffman. But Shawnee is no Coffman. The Braves are dealing with many injuries and (probably) will be playing their third different starting quarterback in as many weeks. They have several starting defensive players out with injury, and Rick Meeks said last week they have only 35 healthy players in the program.
Sound like a mismatch? Not so fast. Shawnee usually plays well in big games. They’re accustomed to the big stage and GWOC-type speed.
Similar to last week’s game against Butler, Shawnee will play Springfield close… for a while, anyway. The Wildcats have too much for the Braves to stop. Springfield will pull away late and earn its first home win since 2010.
My pick: Springfield. Casey’s pick: Springfield.
Indian Lake at Kenton Ridge
Indian Lake at Kenton Ridge is the most interesting game this week in Clark County. Both teams put up big opening-night shutout wins against OHC teams and big numbers on offense.
The Lakers will most definitely be a CBC Mad River contender this season after returning several key players. Quarterback Alex Jacobs threw for 237 yards against Triad and ran for 67. Running back Cole Merritt, a second-year starter like Jacobs, rushed for 139 yards and one TD.
Kenton Ridge had a solid debut after losing several key starters from last year’s team to graduation. New quarterback Noah Schleinitz threw for 159 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were to newcomer Jordan Bailey, who had 143 receiving yards on three catches (that’s right, he scored every time he touched the ball).
Add in running back Jayden Davis, and there’s serious talent on both offenses. Kenton Ridge hasn’t lost to Indian Lake since 2006, and I look for its winning streak to continue on Friday. But the Lakers will play Kenton Ridge a lot closer than the 20 points they lost by last year.
My pick: Kenton Ridge. Casey’s pick: Kenton Ridge.
Catholic Central at Graham
Did anyone see Catholic Central’s score against Greenon last Friday without doing a double-take? Though both Casey and I predicted Central would beat Greenon and end its long losing streak, I don’t know anyone who predicted a 50-point win.
Central travels to St. Paris to play the Falcons, who was shut out and steamrolled by Tippecanoe last week. Graham amassed only three total yards in the game and allowed over 500 on defense.
Based on the first week’s results, there’s no reason to doubt the Irish can beat another CBC Mad River team.
My pick: Catholic Central. Casey’s pick: Catholic Central.
Tecumseh at Butler: My pick: Butler. Casey’s pick: Butler.
Urbana at Piqua: My pick: Piqua. Casey’s pick: Piqua.
Greenon at London: My pick: London. Casey’s pick: London.
Northeastern at Northwestern: My pick: Northwestern. Casey’s pick: Northwestern.
West Liberty-Salem at Benjamin Logan: My pick: WL-S. Casey’s pick: WL-S.
Fairbanks at Mechanicsburg: My pick: Mechanicsburg Casey’s pick: Mechanicsburg.
North Union at Triad: My pick: North Union. Casey’s pick: North Union.
Northridge at Southeastern: My pick: Northridge. Casey’s pick: Northridge.
GWOC games of interest:
Springboro at Centerville: My pick: Centerville. Casey’s pick: Centerville.
Greenville at Tippecanoe: My pick: Tippecanoe. Casey’s pick: Tippecanoe.
Miamisburg at Fairmont: My pick: Miamisburg. Casey’s pick: Miamisburg
Fairborn at Stebbins: My pick: Fairborn. Casey’s pick: Fairborn.
Cincinnati Northwest at Troy: My pick: Troy. Casey’s pick: Troy.