On the Road Again: Wildcats' opener moved once again
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

August 21, 2004 - On the road again.

The Sulphur Springs Wildcats are once again on the road for the first game of the season, next Friday against Jacksonville.

With it apparent that the playing surface at Gerald Prim Stadium will not be ready for a game next Friday, the season opener has been moved 20 miles west to Texas A&M-Commerce's Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

SSISD athletic director Dwayne McMeans said the administrators at TAMU-Commerce arranged to move a student orientation event, which was originally scheduled for Friday night at the stadium, so that the Wildcats could get the game in.

"They were very gracious to move things around to accommodate us," McMeans said. "We really appreciate their effort in doing that."

Season tickets holders who have already purchased their packages can use the first game's ticket to get in Memorial Stadium. If season ticket holders do not want to travel to the game, they can get their $5 back by taking the ticket to the Sulphur Springs High School office beginning next Wednesday when general admission tickets go on sale, McMeans said.

The Jacksonville game was originally scheduled to be played at Gerald Prim Stadium, but the field isn't ready after renovations in the spring that included leveling the playing surface, installing new drainage and sprinkler systems, and laying new sod.

The laying of the turf, originally scheduled for June 1, was postponed for more than a month because of construction delays caused by an abandoned sprinkler system, and then wet weather. Since being laid in mid-July, the new grass has been slow to catch on, and some of it was replaced as late as last Wednesday.

Cognizant of the delays, the SSISD administration arranged earlier this month to have the first game played at Memorial Stadium, but those plans were canceled after it was discovered that the Commerce stadium was double-booked with the student orientation event.

McMeans said a second effort to find a site led back to Texas A&M-Commerce, which agreed to rearrange its schedule.

The game will still count as one of the five home contests, and the Wildcats will be the home team. Memorial Stadium has bleachers on only one side of the field. Next season the Wildcats will travel to Jacksonville as part of the home-and-away arrangement.

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