‘It feels like a little bit of a blow to everyone:’ Chardon football field not ready for opening day

Sports

CHARDON, Ohio (WJW) – One month until kickoff of the 2021 high school football season, the Chardon Hilltoppers are looking to defend their Division III state title, they will be ready, but their field likely won’t. 

Christie Elig, a Chardon football fan says, “It feels like a little bit of a blow to everyone, everyone is anxious to get back in the stadium and support their champions and watch the games.”  

The Chardon School District is in the process of replacing the scoreboard and the field turf at the stadium, however in Mid-June trucks delivering materials needed for the project, damaged the surface below the turf, forcing the project to be delayed by several weeks. 

Chardon school board president Madelon Horvath says, “We absolutely know that our sports are a very important part of our programming for our kids and we started our planning more than two years ago.” 

At a School board meeting on Monday night, Tim Smith, a father of former Chardon high school football players and an excavating and underground utility worker blames school administrators for the delay saying the damage that was done to the subbase should never have happened. 

Chardon resident Tim Smith says, “The main issue is that this was all witnessed by and allowed to continue all day by our superintendent and operations manager, neither of whom have the knowledge or experience to be in charge of a project of this magnitude.” 

The Hilltoppers could be forced to play their ‘home’ games at Spire Institute in Geneva, 25 miles away until their field is ready for play. 

Christie Elig says, “It won’t be the same, but at least there is an opportunity for them to go out there, doing what they have been practicing and doing all year long, all that work that they put in and show what they got.” 

We reached out to the superintendent and the school board president seeking an on-camera interview, they declined our request.

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