By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
If you’re a local high school football coach whose team is scheduled to play a road game against Rosemead this season, you may be getting a call from Panthers coach Matt Koffler very soon. The reason? Rosemead may not be able host home games in its stadium because of a setback with the continuing installation of the school’s new all-weather track that surrounds the football field. (To continue, click thread).
“It’s in doubt whether we’ll have a home game this year,” Koffler said. “It would be extremely disappointing.
“These guys have worked so hard for the last four years and they’ve earned a chance to have their senior year at their home stadium.”
Rosemead is scheduled to open its season at home on Sept. 10 against Montebello, but that’s looking to be in serious doubt along with the team’s other four home games.
Koffler speculated the team would either play all of its games on the road or host them at another school in the district.
Construction on the new track started the day after graduation in June. The problem is the asphalt base the track will be installed on was too high and now has to be shaved to the proper level.
Making matters worse for the team is the school’s practice field is being re-sodded and won’t be ready to accommodate action until early/mid September. In the meantime, the Panthers are practicing at nearby Rosemead Park.
“It’s very inconvenient,” Koffler said. “We have no lines in the park. We have no hash marks. It’s very hard for us to do kickoff and kickoff return. We have no uprights. Our first chance to probably kick a field goal is pregame warm-ups against Montebello.”
Beside the hassle of having to vacate campus to play a home game, the Panthers also stand to lose revenue in terms of gate and snack bar if they can’t play in their home stadium, not to mention the inconvenience of asking their fan base to travel.