CHARLESTON, W.Va. - St. Albans has more worries than identifying a starting quarterback and top running back for the 2013 football season.
A number of construction projects and mishaps surrounding Crawford Field have the Red Dragons struggling to maintain an everyday preseason routine, Coach Steve Stoffel Jr. said after St. Albans' scrimmage against Capital on Saturday at University of Charleston Stadium.
"Our kids have been going through some adversity every day," Stoffel said. "With the bridge project, and we've got a bunch of issues with our field right now between the bridge and the water system and the water company and the city, the sewer, the electric.
"They just hit our sprinkler system yesterday. They were putting our nets up and they busted our fence. We don't have hot water, we don't have air conditioning yet, it just goes on and on."
New nets were being placed behind the goal posts behind the MacCorkle Ave. end zone Friday when workers struck the field's sprinkler system. Frames for new nets were being constructed because the nets initially designed for the field were only 30 feet high, Stoffel said. That height would reach the top of the goal post, but stop nothing kicked higher, and with the removal of trees that formerly lined that end of the Crawford Field, footballs could easily sail into traffic on the street.
The rebuilding of the Dick Henderson Bridge that connects St. Albans to Nitro has also forced adjustments for the football team, though Stoffel said the Dragons' home opener against Spring Valley on Aug. 31 is not in jeopardy of being moved.
"The Department of Highways bought part of our property behind the field house for the bridge, so we've got to move all of our utilities and they're still not moved," he said. "We have temporary power running through the front of the field house."
New asphalt must also be laid to secure light poles that were hit by American Water when installing a new water line for the field, Stoffel said.
That just barely covers the off-the-field issues facing Stoffel in his second year as coach.