One of the most highly anticipated football games in the area was last Friday’s Bishop Carroll vs. East game. The level of interest for that game extended beyond those two schools, which doesn’t happen too often in Wichita for football.
Basketball, yes. That’s why Southeast vs. East was played at Wichita State’s Koch Arena last season.
But City League athletic director Bill Faflick decided not to move the game from Heights Field (which seats 2,800) to South’s Carpenter Stadium (4,800).
Here’s his reasoning:
“We schedule those games so everyone has an opportunity to play at Carpenter Stadium. If Southeast and East and North and West had their druthers, theyâ€™d play all their games at Carpenter.
“It was just a matter of being fair to the kids on the teams at North and West. And they were looking forward to playing there.
“Football is a different situation (from basketball) because there are so few opportunities to play (at Carpenter). It would be fairly easy to move any basketball game because you still have the majority of their games at home.
“Already North and West are on the road. If we can do anything to help them feel that this is their home field, we try really hard to do that.
“Itâ€™s just a matter of being fair. The game between North and West was every bit as important for the kids involved, the coaches and the school community involved.”
It certainly would have been fan-friendly to move the game to Carpenter Stadium. About 100 people were turned away when the game sold out. But the district brought in 700 extra seats to Heights (for 3500 seats) and there was standing room available around the track.
While East athletic director Kevin Hartley didn’t have a total number of fans present — as of Monday — he said more than $12,000 in tickets were sold. Faflick said there were probably 4,500 at the game.
This issue does bring up why Wichita doesn’t have another stadium large enough to seat all the fans who want to be at the game. The City League’s only football stadiums are at South, Heights, Northwest and Bishop Carroll (only Carroll plays its games at its field). Kapaun pays beaucoup bucks to play at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
Wichita needs another stadium, one with a nice track and artificial turf. Frankly, South needs artificial turf. But that’s an item for another day.
– Joanna Chadwick