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All eyes on field for North football

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On a pristine Saturday morning, the football field at Columbus North High School was a gem, its perfect green surface surrounded by a view that seemed to roll far into the distance.

Oh, that’s right, there was nothing obstructing the view Saturday. The bleachers on both sides of the field, along with the press box, had been leveled.

That wouldn’t be a concern if it was May, but Columbus North has its home-opener Aug. 23 against Plainfield.

North Athletic Director Jeff Hester said he has been assured the new bleachers on each side of the field, along with the new press box, would be completed before North’s opener.

Hester was confident everything would be a go opening night, but he is the man in charge so he did say a fallback plan might be to play the opener at Columbus East if necessary considering East’s opener that night will be played at Bloomington North.

East and North play their second game of the season against each other the following Friday at Columbus East. So if some unforeseen delay slowed down construction, there would be another two weeks before North’s second home game Sept. 6 against Bloomington North.

Bull Dogs football coach Tim Bless said his only concern is to get a team prepared to be on a field, wherever that might be.

I’m sure there will be many interested parties watching closely as the construction continues.

So let me get this straight. The Men’s City Golf Championship costs $100 for three 18-hole rounds at Greenbelt, Harrison Lake and Otter Creek, and this year’s field was just 90 golfers.

That’s hard to understand.

What a great golfing bargain. A very well-maintained muni, one of the top public courses in Indiana and a chance to play at a private club. How do you pass that up?

Upon further review, though, a few reasonable explanations surfaced about why the fields have decreased from the 150- to 160-player tournaments they used to host on a regular basis.

One reason is that the tournament went to three rounds over two weekends and with the short school break in the summer, parents have a hard time giving up two weekends for golf.

Other reasons included the fact that the area is producing so many talented, young golfers that tremendous competition was chasing away challengers.

Then it also was mentioned that many recreational golfers just aren’t that interested in playing every shot as its lies and putting out on every green, as required by tournament golf.

Whatever the reason, I would hope local residents take another look at this opportunity.

This tournament is not just for scratch golfers. If doesn’t matter if you are a bogey golfer, because the competition is divided into “flights.” You are going to be matched competitively against other golfers around your level. You could shoot 90, and win a flight.

There are other benefits, too. The great thing about getting on a course with so many wonderful players is that it just gives you a sense of how good they are, as well as a chance to measure yourself.

I hope we embrace this tournament next year and get that number of entrants back up to more than 100. It’s well worth it.

Jay Heater is The Republic sports editor. He can be reached at or 379-5632.

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