Team must play “away” due to construction on track around football field
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
The Cummings football team had to play another road game this week (Friday night, September 1) as construction at its on-campus stadium is preventing home games.
“I’m told where to play and when to play,” coach David Grimm said. “We’ll play anywhere we got to.”
A renovation project involving the track that circles the stadium’s field has caused the schedule changes for the football and boys’ soccer teams. Work on the project began this summer, and as the football season began, there was ongoing grading along with heavy machinery at the stadium.
The Cavaliers (1-1) had their season-opening football game against Eden Morehead moved to Eden before playing as scheduled Friday night at Western Alamance. This week, their Mid-Carolina Conference opener against Jordan-Matthews will be played in Siler City instead of Burlington.
“We’re just learning to adapt and be flexible,” Cummings athletics director Cherie Pettiford said. “Our coaches and players are adapting to the changes.”
This means that Cummings, which has North Carolina State commit Jonathan Paylor as an offensive standout, will have just three regular-season home games if the stadium is ready for the September 15 matchup with Seaforth.
“With Paylor a four-star athlete, people would like to come and see him,” Grimm said.
The only other home games are set for October 6 vs. Chatham Central and October 20 vs. North Moore.
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Aside from last Friday’s non-conference game at Western Alamance, the Cavaliers will have in-county matchups at Graham and Southeast Alamance.
So that’s lost revenue from home games, something Pettiford said is disappointing. Last week’s junior varsity matchup with Western would have been at home, but it was rescheduled for Western before ultimately scrapped because of mold issues at Cummings.
The JV team’s equipment had been stored in a building that had been off limits, while the varsity team uses the fieldhouse closer to the stadium.
School officials said they’ve worked in hopes to have access to the equipment so the JV team can resume regular activities.
Yet when there’s a junior varsity game Thursdays, it means the Cavaliers head to the same venue on back-to-back nights. That will be the case this week vs. Jordan-Matthews.
Pettiford said Cummings appreciates the cooperation from opposing schools.
Because of the work site at the stadium, Cummings will play soccer games away from home through at least mid-September. Pettiford said that wasn’t quite so severe because with home-and-away soccer meetings in conference play, the Cavaliers are able to flip sites with opponents early in the season and that will make for a home-heavy latter part of the schedule.
Pettiford, also the volleyball coach, is making arrangements to shift volleyball matches in a similar manner as soccer until the Cummings gym is re-opened following the removal of mold from the building. She said the Cavaliers might request to use other schools in the county for home matches depending on the duration of the gym closure.