Tarleton football opener moved to high school venue

Incomplete field turf installation prods move to Cleveland Central HS

Tarleton State and head coach Todd Whitten, shown observing a preseason practice, will face Delta State at Mickey Sellers Stadium, not McCool Stadium, in Cleveland, Mississippi Saturday. || Photo by The Flash Today

Flash Staff Report

STEPHENVILLE (August 30, 2017) — Tarleton State is still heading to Cleveland, Mississippi for its season opener against Delta State Saturday, just not to Parker Field at McCool Stadium. Kickoff remains set for 2 p.m.

Installation of new field turf is not complete at the DSU stadium, so the game has been moved to Parks Field at Mickey Sellers Stadium on the campus of nearby Cleveland Central High School, according to an online news release Wednesday from DSU athletic communications.

“We had hoped the turf installation…would finish ahead of schedule, but that didn’t happen…” said Ronnie Mayers, athletic director at Delta State, per the release.

That quote has left many in Stephenville asking why the turf would have to be done “ahead of schedule” to be ready for the season opener. Tarleton had new CoolPlay field turf installed this summer, but began the process in June. Even with a light delay, the field was ready weeks before the beginning of preseason camp.

An online photo of Sellers Stadium makes it appear to more closely resemble Lem Brock Field at Henderson Junior High than even a typical high school venue in Texas. The field is grass and inclement weather is in the weekend forecast.

DSU announced last week the venue change was a possibility. There was speculation locally that the Statesmen would visit the Texans her in Stephenville then host TArleton next year, simply flipping their home and home agreement, but such a move would have forced Tarleton to visit DSU and Division I-FCS member Stephen F. Austin back to back to begin the 2018 season.

Tarleton athletic director Lonn Reisman did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

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