There was a lot of uncertainty with the boys’ state soccer games in Central Oregon on Tuesday. Snow hitting the ground made it impossible to play on grass fields.
“Well, this morning, our field was unplayable,” said Bend High School boys head soccer coach Nils Eriksson. “I mean you can’t get the snow off the grass field, especially when it’s this wet, so we had to make a decision.”
The decision the Bend High athletic department had to make was to switch fields and play on the Bend FC Timbers turf field at Pine Nursery Park.
Once the location switch was final, it was time to get to work.
“We spent the time here with coaches and athletic director, clearing most of the field before we got more bodies out here to shovel and make it more playable,” Eriksson said.
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Although not ideal, Eriksson says in his 30-plus coaching years at Bend High; snow comes with the territory.
“(I’ve) been to games where playing with a white ball in the snow and it is hard to see the white ball. We’ve done it. Other teams have done it around Central Oregon,” he said. “When you live at 3,500 feet, it happens.”
While Bend had to switch locations, Summit High had work to do.
“I was worried we aren’t going to be able to snow or it would be delayed and something was going to happen with the game and to see all the parents out here shoveling the snow,” said Summit junior soccer player Max Basurto.
More than 30 people, primarily parents, came to the rescue with shovels in hand.
Bend was eliminated from the state playoffs, losing to Centennial 2-0, while the Storm advanced to the next round by beating Corvallis 1-0.
Despite the cold weather elements, Summit players say if it keeps snowing, it’s something they’ll handle.
“If it continues, we’ll get used to it in practice,” Basurto said. “The teams from the valley won’t be able to handle it like we will, so it will be to our advantage.”
Eriksson gave a big shout-out to all the volunteers and athletic staff who made it possible for the game to happen.
Summit will play Wilsonville at home Saturday.
Ridgeview (5A), Madras (4A), and Sisters (3A) boys soccer teams were also eliminated Tuesday night.
Several girls’ state playoff games are Wednesday, with Caldera and Summit at home.