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New Earthquake Problems to Tackle : Football: Damage to Canyons stadium forces Hart, Saugus to change schedule, home site.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Hart and Saugus high schools will play some of their home games at Canyon High because of earthquake damage to the football stadium at College of the Canyons, their traditional home site.

The stadium at Canyons was severely damaged in the Jan. 17 earthquake, and it is estimated that repairs should be completed by Oct. 15.

Hart’s opener Sept. 9 against San Fernando has been moved to Canyon and its game against Thousand Oaks the following week has been moved from Friday, Sept. 16 to Sept. 15. Hart was not scheduled to play again at Canyons until Nov. 4, eight weeks into the season.

Saugus is on the road until the third week of season. Its Friday, Sept. 23 game against Loyola has been moved up to Sept. 22.

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Contractors indicate the north stairwell of the stadium continues to sink and have ordered additional tests. College administrators have said it will take 21 days to analyze the results of those tests.

Canyons spokesperson Sue Bozman said, “It’s a safety issue, and we cannot allow anyone in (the stadium) until it is safe.”

The Santa Clarita schools that use the facilities at Canyons were told Tuesday that the stadium would not be ready for the Sept. 9 opener.

Four high schools will use the field at Canyon. Valencia, which opens this fall, will field a sophomore team and also is scheduled to play at Canyon.

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Canyon Coach Larry Mohr sees no problems with the plan unless Mother Nature intervenes.

“We use a separate practice field, so that helps,” Mohr said. “But if there is a tough rainfall, then that field is going to get torn up and need to be replaced.”

Canyon will continue to play on Friday nights.

Saugus Coach Jack Bowman has been through this before. While at Westminster, his team shared a home field with two other schools.

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“I think that the support groups are going to be affected by this more so than the players,” Bowman said.

Mike Herrington, Hart’s coach, expressed concern for his senior players.

“I know that we have some players that looked forward to playing at COC,” Herrington said. “It’s a thrill for high school kids to come running down the hill and play under the lights.”


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