Woody Way Field is the home of the Kodiak Football League’s youth divisions, but it also will serve as the high school’s field for at least the first two home games of the season as artificial turf is installed at Joe Floyd Track and Field.
After practices in fields near the Coast Guard’s Nemetz Gazebo, new Kodiak head coach Jim Schnick doesn’t mind starting the season at Woody Way Field.
“Compared to what we practice on, this is like Lambeau Field,” Schnick said.
Saturday’s 10 a.m. nonconference opener against West Anchorage’s junior varsity will be the first high school game played at Woody Way since 2006.
In 2006, Kodiak’s game against Houston was moved to Woody Way because Joe Floyd was deemed unsafe to play on because of mud. Kodiak won 46-0.
At the time, the field was still covered in sand and referred to as the “Sandbox.”
Now, the field is covered in grass.
The City of Kodiak Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments and the Kodiak Island Borough spent $27,000 to crown the field, lay gravel and plant grass in 2010.
Each year, the Parks and Recreation department re-seeds the grass.
“We built a quarter of a million dollar field for $27,000,” Parks and Recreation director Ian Fulp said.
Woody Way will also host Kodiak’s Aug. 18 Northern Lights Conference game against Houston.
The Bears then have three away games before returning home for a Sept. 15 NLC showdown against Soldotna. Kodiak is hoping that game will be the first on the new turf at Joe Floyd.
Wherever the games are played, Schnick is hoping to end Kodiak’s two-year playoff drought and improve on the Bears’ 4-3 record last season.
“I think last year our junior varsity team really learned how to win,” Schnick said. “We are hoping to transfer that up this season and get them some confidence and get them feeling good about being a Kodiak Bear and focus on fundamentals that will win football games.”
And it all starts Saturday against West Anchorage’s junior varsity at Woody Way Field. The Eagles varsity, the No. 2 ranked large-school team, is playing Punahou High School in Hawaii.
“I’m not sure if it will be purely a junior varsity team, or if it is going to be a JV mixed with varsity that don’t go on their Hawaii trip,” Schnick said.
“We are going to treat it like any other game. We are going to try to come out and win.”
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.