CHAPMANVILLE - Sissonville High School's Joe Sawyer Field will be getting Field Turf for the upcoming 2019 high school football season, the latest to get it in the artificial playing surface boom.
Installation, however, is not expected be complete in time for the season opener against Chapmanville Regional, which was originally scheduled for Friday, Aug. 30, at Sissonville.
So, Chapmanville coach Rob Dial was informed over the weekend the game would instead be moved back a day to Thursday, Aug. 29, and moved to the University of Charleston's Laidley Field.
"Sissonville and many of the teams in Kanawha County will be getting Field Turf over the next several years," Dial said. "Sissonville is scheduled to have theirs installed this summer, and as of right now, according to their head coach and athletics director, their field will not be ready until the second week of the season. Therefore, they have spoken to Laidley Field to have use for the opener with us on Thursday, Aug. 29. So will will be opening the season one day earlier."
With only five games scheduled for August 29, that puts the Chapmanville/Sissonville game into the statewide spotlight.
"We're going to view this as a positive for our program," Dial said. "It's an opportunity for us to get prime exposure in the capital city in the state of West Virginia. We are looking forward to that. There's only about five games total across the state on that Thursday night and we'll be one of those. We're looking forward to this and we accept this challenge. We hope to go over there and play in front of a nice crowd on a nice Thursday evening in Charleston."
Chapmanville last played at Laidley Field back in 2007 in a 40-7 victory over Herbert Hoover in the Tigers' first season in the Cardinal Conference. That game was switched from the Herbert Hoover High School football field at Falling Rock to Laidley due to ongoing renovation on Hoover's football grandstand.
Sissonville would become the fifth Cardinal Conference team, and the first from the North Division, to get Field Turf.
Chapmanville and Logan, along with county school and non-conference member Man, received Field Turf for the 2015 season as part of a joint $2.5 million project funded by Logan County Commission and Logan County Schools.
Scott High School and Mingo Central High School also have Field Turf at their stadiums.
Wayne, Nitro, Poca, Winfield and Herbert Hoover have natural grass.
On the flip side, Chapmanville will only have five days to prepare for the opener. On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Tigers are scheduled to play in the preseason Cardinal Conference Gridorama at Scott.
"The negative is that we play in the girdorama the previous Saturday. Sissonville and Chapmanville will both be in the same boat," Dial said. "We'll have five days and we'll have to turn around and play again. We'll have one less day of prep and one less day of rest. We're looking forward to it though. No matter when we play or where we play the Chapmanville Tigers will be there ready to go."
Sissonville beat Chapmanville 41-13 last year at Chapmanville's Tiger Stadium, winning for the third straight time over CRHS.
Sissonville leads 8-5 in the all-time series, which began in 2006.
With the Chapmanville/Sissonville game being moved to a Thursday night, that also puts extra focus on the Friday, August 30 county clash between Logan and Man at Man's George A. Queen Memorial Field.
After taking on the Indians, Chapmanville hits the road on Sept. 6 at Poca, then has its home opener on Sept. 13 against Winfield.
CRHS goes to Nitro on September 20 for the third time in the last four years and hosts Scott on Sept. 27.
The Tigers head to Herbert Hoover on Oct. 4, have an open date the following week and host Wayne on Oct. 18.
Chapmanville plays at Logan on Oct. 25, hosts Mingo Central on November 1 and closes out the regular season on November 8 at home against non-league foe and county rival Man.
Seven out of Chapmanville's 10 games this fall will be played on Field Turf.
The Tigers were 5-5 last season.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Chapmanville Regional High School Football Schedule
Aug. 29: *vs. Sissonville (at Charleston's Laidley Field), 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6: *at Poca, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: *Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: *at Nitro, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: *Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4: *at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: OPEN DATE
Oct. 18: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: *at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: *Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8: Man, 7:30 p.m.
*Cardinal Conference game