PREP SPORTS: Port Townsend, Chimacum have Memorial Field alternatives

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Word was slow getting out to two of Memorial Field's main tenants about the closure of the venue's grandstand.

The seating area at the Jefferson-County owned stadium was shut down Tuesday due to safety concerns about the roof and support structures.

Scheduled summer events will occur without the grandstand.

As reported by the Peninsula Daily News, the county hopes the grandstand will be ready for the high school football season, which begins in September.

But what if it isn't?

Port Townsend School District athletic director Scott Wilson wasn't yet aware of the closure when contacted by the PDN on Wednesday morning, but he was able to quickly fire off a list of potential options.

“It's not easy, but we can make it work,” Wilson said.

His initial reaction was that the most desirable option would be to still have the games at Memorial Field. The field already has some bleachers and more would be added.

Wilson said using the Blue Heron Middle School football field was another option, but the drawback is a lack of defined entrance area at which to sell tickets.

The Chimacum High School football team also uses Memorial Field at its home venue.

The school's athletic director, Gary Coyan, said he initially found out about the closure from a voicemail left by the Peninsula Daily News on Wednesday morning.

“I still haven't received a call from the county,” Coyan said Wednesday afternoon. “It's kind of disappointing since we have [game] dates there.”

Coyan said there are alternatives to Memorial Field, should Chimacum need to play elsewhere.

“It definitely affects us,” Coyan said, “but I'm not worried about it yet.

“There's a ton [of options] available.”

Coyan told the PDN in January that he wanted to schedule a portion of the Cowboys' home games at the football field at Chimacum High School, partly in an effort to increase school spirit.

He confirmed Wednesday that two late-season games would be played at Chimacum.

The team's other three home games are currently slated for Memorial Field, including the home opener against Forks in Week 2 (Sept. 12 or 13).

“It's kind of fate pushing us to where we want to go,” Coyan said of the Memorial Field closure.

“My goal is to play all of our games, season by season, at Chimacum in a few years.

“If we have to do it this year, great; we'll figure it out.”

Coyan added that the final decision ultimately will be made by the school's administration, but said, “My recommendation will be to plan to play all of our games at Chimacum.”

Chimacum's field doesn't have lights, so Coyan said the games would have to be played in the afternoon, including Saturdays.

He also said the school already is working on setting up bleachers at the field for the two scheduled home games.

Chimacum, like Blue Heron, doesn't have a specified entrance for selling tickets.

Coyan said there will likely be temporary fencing erected and staff patrolling the perimeter during home games.

Read the PDN's report of Memorial Field's closure in Wednesday's edition or online at


Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at

Last modified: May 21. 2014 6:14PM
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