By FRANK CAMPOS
The Louise Hornets will continue to play their home games on the road to start the football season because of delays in stadium upgrades.
The football team played their first “home” game at Ricebird Stadium on Friday and lost 13-42 to Sacred Heart.
Although progress has been made with portions of the planned upgrades, the new field and goal posts have been put on hold.
“Despite our best intentions and effort, sometimes things just don’t work in our favor no matter how hard we try,” Superintendent Garth Oliver said. “We don’t blame anyone, and we know this has been completely out of our control.”
There are two phases left to the current construction project being done at the stadium.
One phase covers the actual stadium itself, and the other is putting new grass and installing goal posts to the field.
“The goal posts are a 10-day project, and the grass, once installed, needs a minimum of a month to set and be ready to play on,” Oliver said. “We could have the field ready in as little as a month, but the reality is that is only if we get perfect weather conditions and everything goes as planned.”
COVID-19 has played a factor in delaying the project, but most of the issues and delays have been due to the weather, Oliver said.
“One of the people who was set to install the grass got COVID, so that is another thing we had to deal with,” Oliver said. “We have to do what we can, but not rush these things, and we all know this is not ideal, but we will eventually get it done.”
Most of the stadium grass is being donated to the school and the project is being done by volunteers.
El Campo ISD is charging Louise $750 per game to host their team. This will not affect ticket prices, Oliver said.
The Hornets are now 2-2 and have six games left in the regular season. They will play three games away and will most likely play three games at Ricebird Stadium, including homecoming, Oliver said.
“This is just the cards we have been dealt and we will handle it,” Oliver said. “There is nothing we can do, but complete the stadium and we are in the process of getting that done.”
Louise will face off against Runge next at 7:30 p.m. in Runge stadium on Friday, Sept. 24.