Kezar not always available

Football game was bumped at last minute due to approaching bad weather

Academic Athletic Association commissioner Don Collins called it “moderate.”

Tom Sandoval, the stadium manager for the Kezar complex, conceded it “really didn’t rain much.”

But Thursday’s inclement weather was still enough for Kezar Stadium officials to deem the field unplayable for that afternoon’s scheduled Lincoln-Mission football game, a decision that was relayed to Collins just two hours, 15 minutes before the scheduled 3 p.m. start.

League officials were able to scramble and move the game to the School of the Arts, but the lack of advance notice about the unavailability of the field and the relatively calm weather conditions are cause for concern for league officials.

Due to the number of events held at Kezar, the stadium overseers have the right to keep a game from being played due to adverse weather conditions.

“[Thursday] caught us off-guard. But to be quite blunt, we didn’t have time for frustration nor debate,” Collins said. “But we’re definitely looking at the Yahoo five- to seven-day forecast now to check the weather. We have to factor in the possibility of losing the field on short notice.”

Two more regular-season AAA football games are scheduled to be played at Kezar and the site could be used for a playoff doubleheader on either Nov. 16 or 17. The Nov. 23 Turkey Bowl has a weather exemption and will be played on the field regardless of the conditions, but the playoff games are not covered under that umbrella.

Thursday’s game was relatively easy to move due to a small crowd, but the playoffs will draw significantly more fans, making for a potential logistical nightmare should the games have to be transferred to a different site on short notice.

According to Collins, this was the first time in his nearly five years with the league that a AAA game scheduled for Kezar had to be moved. Sandoval said that several Catholic school games have been canceled in recent years and, while the situation is regrettable, it is his responsibility to maintain the safety and integrity of the field.

“It was an unfortunate situation and no one here wants to cancel games,” Sandoval said. “I have to honor what the groundskeepers say, and if the field gets damaged, it defeats our purpose.”

Sandoval said Kezar Stadium hosts anywhere from three to five events per week and last weekend hosted a women’s soccer game Saturday night and Pop Warner football all day Sunday.

VOLLEYBALL SHOWDOWNS: It’s still early in the season, but the next six days should provide some major insight into the Academic Athletic Association girls’ volleyball race.

Two weeks into league play, Balboa, Galileo and Lowell sit tied atop the standings at 3-0, having lost just three games combined in nine matches. The Cardinals, who have won 10 consecutive AAA titles, have yet to drop a game, but will face three of their four toughest challengers in the next six days.

After today’s 5:10 p.m. match at 2-1 Wallenberg, Lowell hosts Galileo on Friday at 5:10 p.m. and then travels to face the Buccaneers on Monday at 5:10 p.m.

“There’s a lot of excitement within the team,” Lowell coach Reva Vrana said. “We definitely have respect for these teams, and the girls are really excited to see some of the players that have gotten some hype from around the league.”

Lowell is led by senior middle blocker Stephanie Drumright and senior libero Helene Servillon.

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