By LACY LUSK
With its field still under construction, Gar-Field High School’s activities department announced Wednesday that the Indians’ first two scheduled 2003 home football games will be played elsewhere.
Two Prince William County rivals — Potomac and Hylton — have offered up their fields for Gar-Field’s first two nominal home games. The Indians will open their season Sept. 5 against Osbourn at Potomac. Two weeks later, they and Stonewall Jackson will meet at Hylton.
”It’s something that’s out of my control,” Gar-Field coach Jim Poythress said. ”I feel badly for the senior football players. However, it’s out of my control and out of their control. It sure beats the sniper situation where we didn’t know if we even would play again.”
In Poythress’ first two years at Gar-Field, games were either rescheduled or moved because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and then the sniper-related safety concerns last year. A season ago, the Indians played a second time at Forest Park because Gar-Field’s grass was unplayable — in large part because of the rush to make up postponed games.
Last week, Gar-Field activities director Rudy Zimmermann said the school’s football team likely would have to find alternative sites for its early-season home games. The solution was announced Wednesday, as the Indians’ first four games are now away from home. The team hopes to play at home Oct. 3 against Forest Park.
The overhaul of the football field began in mid-June, a week or two late because of a rainy spring.
”I drive by every day to see if they’ve put sod down or if anyone’s even working,” Poythress said. ”But I told the kids, ‘You can’t worry about that. If you play in a parking lot, you have to be ready to play.”
Defensive lineman Clint Sintim, the Indians’ most heavily recruited senior, already seems to have taken the advice to heart.
”It’s a little disappointing any time you move a home game,” Sintim said. ”But I feel that it really doesn’t matter where you play, just how you play. If you bring the same intensity you would have brought for any game, you’ll be all right.”