WOODLAND (CBS13) – Woodland High school football players can’t even play on their own turf. But community members are making a push to get them back on their home field.
“You kind of just want to have that home field advantage and just feel like you’re at your home,” said Matthew Burger, a sophomore on the JV team.
For nearly three years, Woodland High School students have been missing out on football games on campus and their beloved mascot Woody the Wolf. The team can still use the field for practice but have to play all their home games across town at Pioneer High, their rival’s field.
“It sucks to have to go across town to go play a home game,” said Cody Gunter, another sophomore on the JV team.
But right now, that’s the team’s only option. Back in 2015, part of the stadium was condemned and deemed unsafe for any visitors.
“There’s cracks in the cement, and then the cement itself is actually falling off the dirt,” Gunter said.
And coach Kyle Allen says no stadium is complete without a box for the coaches.
“It gives the coaches an advantage of sitting up high being able to look down on the field,” he explained.
But some in the community say the school district isn’t acting fast enough.
“We know that it’s needed, we know that they deserve it, it’s just having the money to do it,” said Callie Lutz, a spokeswoman for Woodland Joint Unified School District.
She told CBS13 fixing the stadium has a price tag of several million dollars, and even though they’ve saved $2 million so far, there’s much more that has to be put away. Lutz explained the district’s dilemma in figuring out the scope of the project.
“Do it in phases so do we make it usable and then add on better facilities or upgrades once we’re able to?” she wondered. “We’re still in that planning phase.”
But as a sophomore, Gunter is getting impatient.
“I want to play on this field before I graduate!” he said.
On Thursday, several members of the community will meet at the school district at 5:30 p.m. to figure out what’s next for the stadium.
But there is a silver lining: so far the team is 4-0 this season, even though they haven’t played a real home game.