By Dave Wagner: CNJ Sports Writer
Clovis High’s Oct. 19 football game at Artesia is scheduled to be televised nationally as part of ESPN’s Old Spice High School Showcase.
The 14-game schedule has 10 games on ESPNU (including the Clovis-Artesia tilt), one on ESPN and three on ESPN2. Although the latter two channels are available locally on Suddenlink, ESPNU is not.
To accommodate the telecast in Artesia, the starting time was moved back an hour to 8 p.m.
“It’ll be fun,” CHS assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “It’ll be a neat experience for the kids. It’ll be interesting to see how many people actually watch it.”
Clovis and Artesia, traditional powers in Classes 5A and 4A, respectively, have played competitive games in recent years. The Wildcats won 42-35 two years ago in Artesia, while the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 34-26 victory at Leon Williams Stadium last fall.
Kelley said he hopes the players realize that, despite the competitive nature of the game, it serves as a tuneup for the start of District 4-5A play.
“It’s the last game before district,” he said. “Hopefully, it’ll be something the kids will have a good time with.”
New turf — The new artificial surface at Leon Williams Stadium won’t be ready this fall, athletic director Brian Stacy said this week, but should be in place in time for the 2008 campaign.
He added that it hasn’t been determined what kind of synthetic grass will be used.
The cost of the turf is $600,000, half coming from the school district and the other half from fund-raising by an eight-person committee headed by Stacy.
“It’ll take from 45-60 days to get it finished, so there’s no way we’ll have it for football (this fall),” Stacy said. “I was hoping to have it ready (for this season). I knew the initial sticker shock was going to be a hurdle.”
The hope is that CHS will be able to play soccer on the field as well as football, and also use the turf for band practice. It will be able to withstand the increased activity, as well as significant inclement weather.
“You can get up to 70 inches of rain and still play on it,” Stacy said.
He said the current surface is in “excellent” condition for this year, “unless we get a torrential downpour.”
Coaching positions — The only head coaching spot Stacy is trying to fill this summer is boys tennis. Dan Replogle was the coach last spring, but has accepted a position as a guidance counselor in the district and will not be able to coach.
Several programs have openings for assistants, including boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, softball and girls track.
“My biggest (concerns) right now are soccer,” Stacy said. “In basketball and softball, we still have time.”
Boys basketball assistants Mike Hankins and Lonnie Baca have resigned their positions, and Replogle will also have to be replaced as a girls basketball assistant to Miles Watters.
Stacy said most of the positions will likely be filled by non-teaching contract coaches.