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High School to Host Township Football Home Games

Washington Township youth football teams will play their home games at Westwood High School's turf field instead of Memorial Field.

Washington Township football teams will be able to use the artificial turf field at for their four home games this season, according to Mayor Janet Sobkowicz.

Officials had been planning to re-sod Memorial Field, where the teams normally play, but . The field has had several maintenance issues, the most notable being netting from old sod which sticks above the surface.

Falcons Football Coach Scott Spezial told Patch he had notified the Northern Bergen Junior Football League about the field's problems, citing safety and legal concerns.

"When a child or adult gets hurt on that field because of its condition, there is now a huge liability on our town and its council," Spezial wrote in an email to Patch.

Using the high school field will cost the town some money, according to Sobkowicz. Officials from the Westwood Regional School District did not have numbers for the cost available Tuesday.

Township players will still use Memorial Field for practice this season. Officials estimated the field would be re-sodded in early November, after the season and potential playoffs are done.

The future of Memorial Field has been hotly debated this year. Members of the recreation board have supported installing artificial turf, but officials were reluctant because of the high upfront cost of the project.

"There's too many things out there that are more of a necessity than this," Council Vice President Joseph D'Urso previously said.

Sobkowicz said she hoped to use the grants and money in the budget to avoid bonding to pay for the re-sodding. It would take 15 years to pay off the originally-proposed $160,000 bond.

Township Administrator Catherine Navarro-Steinel said Monday that county officials would likely let the town use a $25,000 playground grant for the re-sodding project and that they might be able to obtain another grant to cover as much as $60,000.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

William Lang August 08, 2012 at 02:40 PM
let me get this straight! - WW residents pay taxes for the BOE and the bond $ for the new fields and facilities and Twp gets to use the facilities (most likely for a nominal fee), because unlike WW they are too cheap to supply a safe facility for their kids to play on...seems fair to me.
Township Resident August 08, 2012 at 03:21 PM
William - your Westwood kids used the turf field in the fall for lacrosse.
Township Resident August 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Make that this past spring
WTFalcon Photo August 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
WW Rec Football will play their home game against WT Falcons at the Highschool field. WT residents pay taxes for the BOE and the bond $ for the new fields and facilities and WW gets to use the facilities (most likely for a nominal fee), because unlike WT they would rather play on a turf field...seems fair to me.
resident August 08, 2012 at 09:10 PM
great so we pay taxes to get a new field for the high school. not to mention the cheap looking field on the street and then we pay a fee to use the field.. A JOKE!!
Township Resident August 08, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Wouldn't have to pay if they had a safe place to play on town property but the whole thing was botched by the town council. This field could have be sodded in the spring or summer!
resident August 09, 2012 at 01:19 AM
shouldn't have to pay ..PERIOD!!!!!!. get with the program
Train Stop Talk August 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Football, football, football!!!!! Why is everything done for football? What about the other sports? Look at the mess they made of the baseball field, not to mention the baseball program.
oldmanwtp August 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
train stop talk. thats the point. nothing is being done for the unsafe and dangerous condition of memorial. I guess its not like the three other parks in town that are used exclusively for baseball. no other sport uses clark, gardner, or sherry fields except for baseball and their a private organization. its not even a rec. sport. u just don,t get it!
Just Talk August 13, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I don't think that he was referring to the field at Memorial. I think that he was referring to the high school baseball field. Everything was done for football there. The high school baseball field is a complete mess. Everything was done for football. Little by comparison was done for baseball at the high school. They sacrificed baseball and its once proud program for football and lacrosse, which will take years to develop a program for. Don't you think that Falcon football was always intended to play their games at the high school? Don't you think that some kind of deal was made to allow for that? Who doesn't get it? I think that you don't get it. Perhaps that is why they stalled doing Memorial. You can't play football at Sherry anyway. It's too small.
oldmanwtp September 04, 2012 at 12:14 PM
To just talk. f y i, There are no deals and absolutely no intention for any rec. sport including Falcon football to play at Westwood High School. The recreation depy. was to;d point blank by the board of education B A and the superintendant to go solve your own problems and that our field is not the answer to your problems. Plus, all high schools are structured the same with regard to field use. Their needs always first and leftovers if any to be used by others. Westwood High School has three football teams, six soccer teams, and three field hockey teams that use their field now, there is no room for rec. sports on any consistant basis. The difference is that no other high school charges a fee to use their facility. Westwood High School got their field and now it is exclusively for their needs. What deal? There is no deal. Pay $ 36,000.00 for the LAX season to use the Westwood facility, is that the deal your talking about. As far as Falcon football is concerned, its not about playing four home games at the high school. YOU JUST DON T GET IT. Fact. Memorial field is dangerous and unsafe and has been acknowledged as so by the mayor and council, the newspaper, and the residence of our community and have been ignored. It is PRACTICED on over 100 times during the football season and is used for games with other towns on A, B, and C levels. How is playing four home games elseware solving the problem. Can you spell town lawsuit or liability?YOU JUST DONT GET IT.
Russ September 13, 2012 at 02:12 AM
What i really dont understand is why this Mayor (who has been on the council for decades) and the current councilmen have not held the turf company accountable for inferior installation and unsafe conditions. Wasn't there a contract written and why has this not been addressed. Where is the town lawyer - he collects a lot of money, what has he done? This Mayor was so anxious to use the "bad condition" of the field as part of her election campaign showing pictures on tv and saying bad things about her opposiiton, but has done absolutely NOTHING to remedy the situation. So now we are PAYING to use the high school field which we already PAID for over and over with our property taxes. Please stop the insanity ! vote all of them out of office.

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