St. Edward football community clears home field in time for Saturday's playoff game
St. Edward community clears snow off field for playoff game
Football coaches at St. Edward Central Catholic High School found themselves in a predicament after Mother Nature dumped 4 inches of snow on the Elgin area Thursday -- two days before a first-round playoff game on their home field.
With temperatures projected to remain unseasonably cold the next few days, it was unlikely the snow would melt on its own, head coach Mike Rolando said. So they had two options: Move the game to a more suitable field at another school or find a way to get theirs cleared and lined by Saturday afternoon.
"The Green Wave fans want to see a game at home," Rolando said. "The only way to do that is to get a lot of volunteers to help out."
On Friday morning, Rolando sent a message to the school's football community, including former players and families, asking for assistance shoveling the snow off Greg True Field, 335 Locust St. He also posted a request for volunteers on the team's Facebook page.
A 2008 St. Edward graduate and football player, Kyle Tourtellott of Elgin, said he "came running" when he received his former coach's email. He was among at least 20 volunteers who showed up throughout the afternoon, including alumni, former and current football parents, and friends of the program.
Junior varsity coaches Joe Kenny, Clem McClough and Chris Studebaker led the charge.
"I wanted to help the football team have a home playoff game," said volunteer Kurt Walser of Bartlett, whose son, Alex, is a senior player. "They earned it this year. They worked hard. They made sure they did everything they needed to do."
The goal was to have the field cleared by 6 p.m. so it could be lined Saturday morning -- just in time for a 1 p.m. kickoff against Chicago's Orr Academy High School.
But by 3 p.m. Friday, all the snow had been removed, and coaches were already beginning to paint.
"They're far ahead of schedule," said Rolando, who works off campus and was unable to be at the field.
"It was a great little community effort," he continued. "I'm very fortunate to be involved in a program that has people willing to step up and pitch in when needed."