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Adams Field Opening on Hold

It appears that the Kenmore East athletic family might have to wait a little longer than planned before they officially cut the ribbon on the renovated “Sparky” Adams Field.

Groundbreaking for the new field took place on June 7th with the game plan of being ready for the Bulldogs’ home game against Grand Island on Oct. 8th. If not then, certainly on time for the East/West game the following week.

Now, it appears that the Bulldogs might not get on the field at all this Fall as recent rain storms have delayed the completion of the field. The Grand Island game has officially been moved to St. Joe’s – Saturday at 2pm and the Ken-Ton District has already been in talks with the City of Tonawanda to use Clinton H. Small Stadium for the Oct. 15th Battle of Kenmore game against the Blue Devils, if necessary.

The most obvious answer in the eyes of the average person is to say just switch the game to Crosby Field – home of the Blue Devils. It would still be in Ken-Ton and more convenient for the fans and families of both schools, but Ken-Ton District Athletic Director Brett Banker said it’s not that simple.

Banker said this is more than just finding a new location to play the game. One of the highlights of this rivalry game is that the home team, in this case Ken-East, always introduces its newest athletic Hall of Fame class during halftime.

Banker, who understands and respects the pride and passion the people of Ken-Ton have for their high schools, is concerned that it would be disrespectful or insulting to the Ken-East Hall of Famers if they were to be honored on the field of their biggest rival?

“It would be desirable for Kenmore West. I don’t think it would be desirable for Kenmore East or the Hall of Famers,” Banker said.

“So I’m concerned about the Hall of Famers. Yes, if Adams isn’t ready and if we can’t get Clinton Small, if they have a concern about hosting us, then Crosby would probably make the most sense and honestly I would want to reach out to some Kenmore East inductees to see how they feel about it. We may have to forgo the Hall of Fame ceremony and just do it Friday night at the (Hall of Fame) banquet. If I’ve learned anything in my 25 years (in the district) it is that Kenmore East and Kenmore West still care about their schools and the rivalry. And I want to honor that. I want to recognize that.”

Small Stadium, though technically neutral, was the site of he Bulldogs’ first two home football games this season. So at least there is a connection and some sense of home.

Though Tonawanda appears willing to host the East/West game, their concern is with hosting the T-NT rivalry game with North Tonawanda the night before. The Tonawanda District isn’t sure if Small Stadium will be ready to host another large rivalry game so soon.

“I did call Tonawanda. They’ve been awesome, they’ve been great,” said Banker. “They’ve hosted us the first two weeks of the season. I did contact them essentially as a backup in case Adams is not ready.”

St. Joe’s facilities are not an option, as they will be hosting Canisius on Oct. 15th in their rivalry game.

If the weather holds out over the next week to 10 days there is still a chance Adams Field could be ready in time for the East/West game. But Banker said after the turf is laid down and the work is completed the district’s insurance provider, New York School Insurance Reciprocal, still has to come in and examine the area and deem the field playable before any athletic action can take place.

“There’s a lot of variables,” Banker said.

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