When is a home field advantage not an advantage in football? When it’s Pete’s Pool in Enumclaw during a rainy October.
So coach Don Bartel is taking his final two “home” games on the road as the Hornets make a run at the SPSL 3A title.
As you can tell by the photo above, sent by Bartel, Pete’s Pool is a mess.
“It’s horrible,” Bartel said. “It’s not even safe.”
Friday’s game against sixth-ranked Lakes has been moved to Orting High School and the Oct. 29 game against Peninsula will also be played there.
The other options were the field in Buckley (where White River plays its home games) or the practice field at Bonney Lake (which plays home games at Sunset Chev Stadium).
All three sites have field turf surfaces.
Bartel lobbied for Orting for both dates, and not just because he is a 1991 graduate of the school. It’s the one site that was available both of those weekends as Orting has away games. Otherwise, Enumclaw would play the “home” games at two different sites. In between, the Hornets play Bonney Lake at Sunset Chev.
This isn’t a popular decision with a lot of people, as you can imagine. Enumclaw’s “senior night” won’t be at Pete’s Pool. And the crowd setting won’t be the same, no matter where the games are played.
“Pete’s Pool is an advantage in spite of the field, not just because of it,” Bartel said. “But you’re looking at a situation where a game could be decided by factors other than the level of play or preparation or the skill of the kids.”
Pete’s Pool, which is officially part of the Expo Center but still called Pete’s Pool by the majority of people, traditionally is messy by mid-October. But the condition is worse this year, Bartel said, in part because of some additional use. Not only are the Enumclaw youth football games there, but Green River Community College has played two games on the field and has one remaining.
The good news is that Enumclaw could have a brand new facility by the 2011 season. The city received a $200,000 grant from the NFL Grassroots Program last spring and Bartel believes most of the funding for the project, which likely will run around $750,000, is in place.
We’ll post the site of Friday’s game against Lakes as soon as it’s available.
(Photo courtesy of John Wise.)