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Two stadiums turn out lights for last time

October 24, 2011
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor (mmathison@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

Two stadiums will be dark for good after the lights go out Friday night.

Jimmy Carey Stadium and the old Riverside Stadium at Toronto High School will see their final high school football games when the Weir High Red Riders host East Liverpool and the Toronto Red Knights entertain Weirton Madonna.

Huge celebrations are planned for both places and I would expect both places to be packed.

Toronto's place will be torn down next month and replaced with a new facility on the same ground by the time football season opens next year.

The 81-year-old stadium, host to Clarke Hinkle Field, will host a game with playoff implications for both teams.

The Red Knights are in 12th place in Division VI, Region 21. A win over the Blue Dons will not guarantee them a spot in Week 11, but will give them a fighting chance because three of the teams in front of them have tough match-ups Friday.

Toronto's stadium opened on Sept. 26, 1930, with the New Philadelphia Quakers and an 18-8 victory. The stadium dedication came later on Oct. 17 of that year in a 45-0 victory over Chester High School. That dedication did have the then-Ohio Gov. Myers Cooper in attendance.

Jimmy Carey Stadium has been open for business since 1935 and has hosted eight teams that won state championships, the latest two being Madonna in 2009 and Weir High in 2005.

When Jimmy Carey Stadium goes dark after the 13-minute fireworks show, it will go dark for good as the Red Riders will move to their on-campus facility in the fall.

A new addition to the stadium will be the Bob Rossell Press Box.

"He has done so much for our program and our community," Weir High principal and former Red Riders head football coach Dan Enich said of Rossell, who has been involved with Weir High for the last 44 years.

Rossell had not missed a Weir High home football game since 1957 until the homecoming game this season. He has been the Red Riders basketball announcer for the past 33 years and is the main Weir High athletic historian and caretaker of the trophy cases at the high school.

Although there will be zero playoff implications for the Red Riders or Potters, Enich said the game is still the main attraction Friday evening.

"I've been there as a head coach," he said. "I know what they are going through. I just want them all to know that the administration of this school are behind these guys and this coaching staff 100 percent. We are all pulling for them. What they are going through is not fun.

"The main event of the night is the game and the players and we do not want to overshadow that.

"No one is pulling harder for them to pull out out a win more than we are - even if it's just one.

"I know when I was the head coach I wanted to win a drive, a series, a quarter, a half. As a coach or a player, you want to win the battle in front of you."

Newell Stadium has already gone dark for the Oak Glen football team.

The Golden Bears moved to 8-1 with a win over Steubenville Catholic Central Saturday night and close the season Friday at Magnolia, which is coming off a nice win over Barnesville.

Oak Glen is also moving to an on-campus facility next year thanks to the bond levy that passed last year.

I hear the Red Riders faithful (if you can call them that) are not happy with new head coach Jason Kekseo and what's going on.

Really?

I have no problem if you get on the head coach and the coaching staff if they have quit the kids, mentally checked out and just go through the motions during the game.

But, that is not happening whatsoever.

I am on the sidelines a lot and I hear nothing but positive things coming out of the coaches mouths. They are coaching their tails off. They are not calling it quits. They have not packed it in and they are not just going through the motions.

You faithful wanted Tony Filberto out, Eric Meek out and Tom Taylor out. Well, they are out and Kekseo is in.

Get behind the guy and what he is trying to do for your kids and community.

I also heard grumblings from the stands during the last two years of Bob Kramer's tenure as the most successful football coach in Madonna history. People wanted him out, too.

Well, he is out and coach Doug Taylor is in and you people are already whining and complaining.

The Wahama loss means nothing, folks. Nothing.

It's a loss. It didn't kill the season.

The Blue Dons' season lies right in front of them with two big games worth a lot of points and two wins very well may get them a home playoff game.

The NFL makes no sense when it comes to fines.

Last week A.J. Hawk was fined $10,000 for making an obscene gesture, Troy Polamalu the same amount for talking to his wife on a cell phone and Green Bay teammates Clay Matthews and Tramon Williams $5,000 each for wearing nonconforming shoes with their throwback uniforms against the Rams.

I just find it hard to believe that the middle finger seen on television equals a cell phone call.

Yet, San Francisco and Detroit head coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz get into it after a game and get nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Coaches talk all the time about doing the right thing and keeping emotions under check, yet Schwartz ignited the whole thing by his reaction.

If Schwartz does not come back and try to get in Harbaugh's face, none of this would have happened.

Can we please now stop all the comparisons in the valley to Big Red football.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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