Selma: The Friday night lights

The Friday night lights will not burn for Selma football in 2018 – at least not in Selma. 

John Murphy, Enterprise Recorder

It is not certain yet, but it appears the Selma High football team will play one or two games at Fowler High's Nielsen Stadium in 2018 season while Selma's Staley Stadium is being remodeled.

This remodeling will begin on the stadium in the summer, with plans to install as many as 6,000 new seats; a 300 square foot press box with ramps; a rubberized track; new lighting; concrete pathways for rest rooms, snack bars and weight room building access; and other improvements.

The $2 million stadium portion of the overall school project funded mainly by Measure O will be a godsend for Selma football and eventually track and field and soccer. However, the projects will also displace all three programs – for at least one season.

“We’re planning on playing the 2018 season away,” Selma athletic director Randy Esraelian said of the football program. Esraelian said Fowler High is the likely landing spot for a portion of Selma’s football games next season, with other nearby schools helping out as needed. 

Selma will likely have four or five "home" games in 2018 – meaning a school other than Selma or Fowler will have to consent to let the Bears play there.  

“Fowler is a great site,” Esraelian said. “It’s close and it’s grass and it’s a good situation. It’s possible we could play a game or two at a few other schools.”

Esraelian said teams are in the process of finishing their scheduling, making the situation fluid.

"We're looking at Selma playing here for one or two games," Fowler athletic director Joe Hammond. "We're still hashing out the dates." 

Selma High will probably allow Fowler to use its pool for some events and/or practices, since Fowler is having its pool re-done, Hammond said.  

All Selma soccer matches and track and field meets will be away for at least the 2018-2019 school year, Esraelian said.

The veteran Selma athletic director is upbeat about the project.

“The architect is doing a wonderful job,” he said. “It’s going to be elevated at the north end with concessions and rest rooms. Some people say ‘Why not copy this (stadium)’ or ‘Why not copy that,’ but we’re not going to copy anyone because we don’t have the same logistics. We’re unique and everything is going to look beautiful with facilities for track and field and a nice entrance.”

The Selma High remodel is supposed to be completed by December 2019, if all goes according to plan.  

John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or jmurphy@hanfordsentinel.com.

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