CIAC FOOTBALL: Snowfall gives ‘special teams’ a new meaning for quarterfinal hosts

CIAC FOOTBALL: Snowfall gives ‘special teams’ a new meaning for quarterfinal hosts

reporter photo

MERIDEN — The area was dealt another round of snow on Monday night into Tuesday morning, prompting Tuesday cleanup efforts for the three area squads hosting quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

The CIAC announced early Monday afternoon that the state quarterfinals would be bumped from Tuesday to Wednesday. It’s proved to be a smart move as schools were cancelled on Tuesday across the state.

Southington, Sheehan and Maloney are all hosting home games on Wednesday night when the 2019 playoffs kick off at 6:30 p.m. Cheshire is on the road at Simsbury.

“We will definitely play (Wednesday),” McKee said. “The Meriden Parks & Recreation and the Board of Education maintenance crew will get Falcon Field cleaned up so it’s safe for fans and players.”

McKee said the crews started work on the outside of the field area, then on the field itself.

“We will get the whole place up and running,” McKee said. “It was a great decision moving the games from Tuesday to Wednesday.”

The work was done quickly. The Spartans were able to practice at Falcon Field on Tuesday afternoon. McKee expects a big crowd there on Wednesday night.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing crowd,” McKee said. 

Sheehan hosts Woodland on Wednesday night. Titans athletic director Chris Dailey said Riccitelli Field will be ready for kickoff.

“It’s going to be a lot of work, but our maintenance department is going to step up,” Dailey said. “The CIAC did a great job to move the game to buy us another 24 hours. We have a large area to clean with the bleachers, walkways and the field. The extra time is needed.”

While maintenance crews tackled the outside work, the football Titans were able to get in an indoor practice on Tuesday afternoon in the gym.

“We have one of the best coaching staffs in the state,” Dailey said. “This is just another hurdle for them to overcome. They will be ready one way or another, no matter what the conditions. They will go out and play hard.”

Southington hosts Ridgefield at Fontana Field on Wednesday. Cleanup was well under way by Tuesday afternoon.

It was a whirlwind start for newly minted AD Steve Risser, who was in his second day on the job at Southington. He anticipated Fontana Field to cleared by the end of the day on Tuesday.

“Right now I’m confident we will be able to host the game,” Risser said on 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. “We are about two hours into cleanup and we are halfway done. All other schools in the same situation as we are. I will be calling the Ridgefield AD to give him an update.”

Southington practiced indoors in the school gymnasium on Tuesday. Risser said the parking lot was cleared so the football team could get into the school to practice.