Weekly Feature

2018-09-13 / Front Page

Cleve Hill football faces hurdles as season starts


Glen Graham has a perfect view of the football field from his science classroom in Cleveland Hill High School. The field — one of a few items left on the district’s capital project list — is dug up and spotted with construction equipment.

“Every time I have five minutes, I take a quick walk outside to see how they’re doing,” Graham, the school’s varsity football coach, said. “You can see the field coming together right now. That generates a lot of buzz around here, not just for the players but the whole student body.”

The football season began a few weeks ago, and the football field, track and concession stand at Cleveland Hill have yet to be finished.

School officials, however, say the end of construction is near.

The $10.9 million capital project, which was approved in December 2016, began earlier this summer and included many renovations and updates to the school district.

Most of the project, including a new parent drop-off and pickup zone, was completed by the first day of school, according to Superintendent Jon Mac- Swan.

The football team had to adjust and practice on the baseball field. The district turned to its neighbors when it came to hosting games.

Cleveland Hill’s athletic director, Jason Przybysz, said the Maryvale School District has been gracious as construction finishes up.

“Maryvale [High School] is our home field for football, so we’re the home team until construction is done,” Przybysz said after a board meeting last week. “They’re doing us a courtesy by allowing us to use their facilities for JV and varsity football games.”

MacSwan said the Maryvale district has been extremely helpful during construction.

“Maryvale has made the capital project recurrently work and very doable, with minimal impact on our sporting programs,” he said.

Maryvale’s athletic director, Tim Klimtzak, said scheduling between the two schools has been smooth.

“It worked out, and there weren’t any conflicts as the field was open the days [Cleveland Hill teams] needed it,” Klimtzak said. “Maryvale has a very good relationship with Cleveland Hill. In the future, I’m sure, if we have a project going on, that the favor will be returned.”

MacSwan said that as construction finishes, there’s a better chance that Cleveland Hill will host a football game.

“Originally, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to hold any football games here this year,” he said. “But, we’re getting increasingly confident that we will host the homecoming game.”

Przybysz said hosting at least one game is the goal for the school.

“We hope all — varsity, junior varsity and modified — will have at least one game at home. It’s been our goal throughout this construction phase,” Przybysz said. “We’re hopeful we can stick to that timeframe.”

MacSwan said that as long as equipment and supplies reach the school on time, games on Cleveland Hill’s turf in the near future are possible.

“Everything has really been, fortunately, on budget and ahead of schedule,” Mac- Swan said.

Graham said the players, especially the seniors, are itching to get back on their home turf.

“The superintendent and the construction company have been working really hard to get [the field] finished for homecoming,” he said. “They really want to give our seniors the opportunity to play on the field before their season is done.”

Cleveland Hill’s homecoming game against Akron High School will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 — with the district’s fingers crossed — at the Eagles’ new, completed field at 105 Mapleview Road.

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