Selma’s football schedule is officially set.
After the Bears officially opens its season at Kerman on Aug. 23, Selma will play Independence (Aug. 30) and Sunnyside (Sept. 6) at Reedley High School on the originally scheduled dates, according to Selma High athletic director Randy Esraelian. The Bears will serve as the host for both neutral site games.
Selma will followed the neutral site games with a road matchup against Washington Union on Sept. 13, followed by another road date with Madera High on Sept. 19. The game against the Madera Coyotes will wrap up the Bears preseason schedule.
Originally, the Bears' first four games were scheduled to take place in Selma, but the delays of the reconstruction of Staley Stadium have pushed back the venue’s opening date.
"Yes, our first four home games will be played away from home. While this isn't what we were hoping, we all understand what the compromise is and it will be even more special on opening night," Esraelian said in an emailed statement. "How many student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and community members get to be part of a brand new stadium, track, and weight room complex? It is truly something our student-athletes deserve as well as our community."
In a previous Enterprise Recorder article, numerous delays including the installation of lights, the all-weather track, and bathroom and snack bar facilities have caused the completion date to tentatively be pushed back to the middle of October, which is around the time of a scheduled home game against Exeter. That matchup is set for Oct. 18 and it’s expected to serve as the Bears’ homecoming game.
In that same article, Selma Unified School District assistant superintendent Larry Teixiera didn’t officially confirm the stadium’s completion date, but he said opening the venue in the middle of October is the current goal.
“It was kind of questionable from the very beginning if we were going to get it finished in time to play this season’s home games,” Teixeira told the Enterprise Recorder in July. “It was always questionable from the start, but we were hoping to get enough done to play on it.”
As for the neutral site games at Reedley, Esraelian confirmed to the Enterprise Recorder that season home passes and student ASB cards will be honored for the Independence and Sunnyside matchups.
After the Bears wrap up the preseason, Selma will have a bye week and will begin Central Sequoia League play on the road against Hanford West on Oct. 4, followed by a road date against Dinuba on Oct. 11.
As of press time, the Bears’ final two of three regular season games will be tentatively held at the newly renovated Staley Stadium. After Selma’s game against Exeter, the Bears will play on the road against Central Valley Christian on Oct. 25, followed by a home date with rival Kingsburg on Nov. 1 to conclude the regular season.