TACOMA -- Heavy rainfall over the weekend is putting a damper on Stadium High School’s football season. The school’s iconic Stadium Bowl is closed for the rest of the season it flooded for the second time in less than a year, damaging not just the field but ruining equipment. Now the team’s Friday football game is at risk.
On Tuesday, the football team didn’t practice at Stadium High School as they would but instead practiced at Jason Lee Middle School a couple of miles away, in hopes they’re season won’t be disrupted.
Despite huddling on a field that isn’t theirs, without shoulder pads or their normal gear, the Stadium High School Football team is prepping for their next game.
“We've got a pretty close-knit group of guys on our team, especially our core varsity guys, and I don't see them letting this be a distraction,” said Stadium High School Head Coach Thomas Ford.
Flooding from Saturday’s storm is said to have damaged the Stadium Bowl stairs and ruined equipment like shoulder pads, cleats, and even practice jerseys that had been stored in a field house.
“To have this worry over the kids and this program is unfortunate,” said Scott Elder, whose son Bailey is a freshman on the team. Elder said his son was disappointed over the loss of his custom-ordered size 16 cleats.
Parents like Elder couldn’t hide his disappointment over the flooding and the players couldn’t hide it either, especially after some of them got a look at the field house Wednesday.
“It smelled; it was very muddy everywhere; you can tell where the water line rose to; it was just piles of gear, piles of dirt,” said Darren Yeun, Stadium High School Football’s Team Captain.
But like any tough opponent, Yeun believes this one from Mother Nature has brought their team together.
“Coach preaches it everyday-- adversity it's what makes us stronger,” said Yeun.
Donations are starting to pour in to try to save the season. Tacoma Public Schools noted Sports Authority and Sports in Schools have donated cleats to the school. The district also said it ordered 85 shoulder pads that they expect to receive by Wednesday. If that happens, the team will be able to play its game on Friday.
The Stadium Football Boosters have set up an account at all Columbia Bank locations to try to raise funds for all the equipment lost, many of them the players’ personal items.