Suwannee Democrat

Suwannee Democrat

August 24, 2011

Langford Stadium will be used for soccer

Live Oak — After much discussion, the issue of discontinuing soccer and recreation department games at Paul Langford Stadium in Live Oak has been laid to rest.

During the Tuesday evening Suwannee County School Board meeting, local citizens voiced concern over ending soccer and other youth sports at the football stadium due to overuse, resulting in field damage. However, the issue had already been addressed in an Aug. 17 memorandum by Superintendent of Schools Jerry Scarborough.

In the memorandum, Scarborough wrote, “ Soccer games will continue to be played at the SHS football field.”

Scarborough also noted in the memo, “The Recreation Department will continue to use the SHS football field as they have in the past.”

School board member Ed daSilva voiced his support for the school’s soccer program using the football field and stated, “I have known kids who have benefitted on the collegiate level from playing soccer.”

daSilva suggested the board might consider the need to have experts in the area of field maintenance evaluate the football field so the same facility may be used for football and soccer if overuse of the field is an issue.

Board member Jerry Taylor indicated the board has no intent of eliminating soccer but did note, “Sometimes maintenance comes down to bottom line.”

Taylor added that he once heard a particular group refer to the football field as “their field” and was quick to remind everyone, the field belongs to the school board.

Taylor further commented that he would love to see the school board, county commission, and recreation department get together and find solutions to the problem of field overuse.

Suwannee County School Board Chair Julie Ulmer voiced strong pride in the district’s soccer program. Ulmer acknowledged that although budgetary concerns might cause difficulties in field maintenance, the soccer program has the board’s continued support.

Local resident Shannon Buzbee suggested if funding is an issue for field upkeep, boosters might  consider setting aside a fund for maintenance.

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