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ESKO - Les Knuti Memorial Field has stood as the home of Esko
football for more than 40 years, but that era may be slowly coming to an end.
"We know that the voters expect to do what we can with
what we have and we've been trying to do that, but at this point it's a little
bit bigger than we can fix," said Esko Superintendent Aaron Fischer.
Starting in the fall, lights began falling off their poles
and this spring, the field's wooden bleachers and press box began rotting,
making them unsafe for the upcoming season.
"It's always kind of sad to look down on the field and
realize we don't have what we used to have and we don't have bleachers and
lights," said Matt Saphner, a senior lineman for the Eskomos.
Because of recent flooding, the team's scoreboard doesn't
Without lights and bleachers the football team faces games with
considerably fewer fans, not to mention a change from night games to day games.
Saphner said, "Usually we'd have three hours to prepare
and now we're going to have 15–20 minutes."
The Eskomos will play at 4 p.m. on Fridays and will look
into portable lighting for late season games.
The school board is proposing a $2.7 million athletic fields
referendum in the hopes that voters can help pitch in.
Fischer said, "As always we respect the voters opinions
and if they say no, football will continue to go on at four o'clock and we will
start to put some of these projects on our list."
In the meantime, the Esko football team will have to make do
with what they have.
"There's definitely not going to be the same atmosphere
but I think our community's going to support us either way," said Marc
Peterson, a junior quarterback.
"We're still going to have a great time out there and
we're still going to play as hard as we can with what we got," said
The Esko school board voted 6-0 Tuesday in favor of the $2.7 million
athletics field referendum, putting it on the ballot in November.