By Dave Poe, Parkersburg News & Sentinel
Football coaches always are looking for heavy hitters.
While Parkersburg High School's football team was conducting its first day of drills Monday on the artificial turf of Stadium Field, some heavy hitters from the local business community were paying a visit to the PHS Stadium Field Committee to offer their collective services with the group's ongoing fundraising effort.
Dr. Joe Weaver, Jason Minnite, Chris Campbell, Curtis Miller and Vince Conley asked committee members how much money it would take to ensure Stadium Field would be ready for Parkersburg's home game on Sept. 20 against Capital. PHS officials already have made arrangements to play their season and home opener against Warren on Aug. 30 at Don Drumm Stadium in Marietta.
Our goal is to have the stadium open by Sept. 20,'' Weaver said. "It will take us all working together. Let's just get it done.''
After going through a thorough review of the stadium committee's finances as well as getting a construction update from project engineer Ryan Taylor of Pickering Associates, it was determined it would take approximately $350,000 for the stadium to be occupied for the Capital game.
That is the amount of money it will take to complete the home or pressbox side bleachers and allow them to pass inspection. That side of the stadium seats between 4,100 and 4,200 fans.
Even if the quintet of businessmen is able to use its connections and raise the necessary money for the home side to be opened, PHS still will have to deal with the visitors side of the stadium. The total cost to repair the home side is approximately $1,852,000. The Wood County Board of Education committed $700,000 to the project and the stadium committee secured a $600,000 loan, leaving more than another $500,000 to be raised.
Taylor said the precast construction on the home side will be completed by Aug. 13 while work on the expansion joints that must be installed is scheduled to begin today. Taylor told the committee it could run out of funds for the project by mid-August.
Conditioning, learning plays, doing drills, 7-On-7 competition and NFL Camp are just a few of the things occupying the 2012 Parkersburg Big Red football team during the three-week coaching period which began Jun 11.
The Big Reds coach Don Reeves participated in their own 7-On-7 play Friday evening at Stadium Field, squaring off against Belpre and Tyler County while St. Marys and Williamstown also participated. Against Belpre quarterback Aaron Roberts connected with Matt Santer and Adrian Webster for touchdowns while sophomore Zach Carroll threw to Steve Dailey for another. Against Tyler County the same trio of Roberts, Santer and Webster hooked up again for scores in the pass-only, touch-tackle style of play. On June 23 the Big Reds will take their varsity and jayvee 7-On-7 squads to compete beginning at 9 a.m. at Pt. Pleasant High School, which will be in the triple-A classification this coming season.
Also, beginning on June 18 PHS will host the NFL Camp which has already attracted over 170 athletes to participate in a wide variety of skills and learning opportunities.
A couple of new faces on the coaching sidelines for the upcoming season include Chad Ross and John Prater on the varsity while Dustin Garrison and Chris Davis will be the freshman coaches.