IRHS game scrapped over field condition

Field hockey at Indian River High School took a brief hiatus on Sept. 13 due to what was considered unsafe field conditions by the Milford coach.

Indian River was scheduled to play Milford at 4 p.m. on Sept. 13 but their field was not ready for play, so the Bucs made the trek down Route 113 — only not to play at all.

“Their coach’s (Bucs) reluctance to play on our field, combined with the possibility of injury, was enough for the referees to call the game,” said Indian River Athletic Director Paul Kmetz.

Kmetz noted that under no circumstance is the field unplayable or even unsafe but is simply a new field.

“We’ve practiced on this field for five weeks and scrimmaged Stephen Decatur, and they didn’t have any complaints,” said Kmetz. “The field hasn’t had the chance for the grass to grow. We’ve filled in the patches with dirt, and though it doesn’t look pretty, it is still playable.”

“All new fields have problems. Heinz Field (home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers) had problems with their turf and had to change their turf every week,” said Kmetz. “Compared to other fields in the conference, ours is one of the best and it is definitely better than last year’s.”

Regardless, Indian River is dealing with the situation and in a hurry. They have the Melvin Joseph field crew coming in to pack down the field with rollers and tend to the irrigation system. Once the field is packed down, it will be inspected by an assigner associated with Henlopen field hockey, on Sept. 19 after school.

Barring any last-minute snags, Indian River will host Cape Henlopen on Sept. 20 at 4 p.m., and their cancelled game against Milford will be made up at a time conducive for both schools.

A date for that make-up game will be determined at the Henlopen Conference athletic meeting next week.