Stefan Gansert is expecting a standing-room-only crowd for his first game as Fairmont Heights's head coach. After all, most of the fans in attendance won't have a choice tomorrow when the Hornets play Friendship Edison.
As part of renovations at the Capitol Heights school, contractors removed the school's wood bleachers toward the end of last school year but have yet to install new aluminum bleachers. A small set of bleachers has been placed behind one end zone, but those are the only seats available.
"The bleachers are a concern, but they're making every effort to get me bleachers," said Gansert, joking that he would send out a memo for fans to bring their lawn chairs and sit on a hill beyond a corner of the field. "As long as they're making every effort, I can be satisfied and let the chips fall in place. . . . That's not going to win or lose games for me."
In addition to a lack of seating, fans in attendance will be on their own to keep track of the score and time left in the game. The electric line to the scoreboard was wired to the old bleachers, Gansert said, meaning the scoreboard cannot be used until the bleachers are replaced.
Fairmont Heights is not the only Prince George's County school with stadium problems. Because of renovations to its track and stadium field, Bowie will play nearly all of its games on the road this season, Bowie Athletic Director Bob Estes said. The $500,000 project was supposed to begin at the end of last school year so that a new stadium field would be available for this football season, but was delayed until the past few weeks for reasons that Estes declined to discuss.
Estes said he was told the stadium will be finished in time for the Bulldogs to host their Oct. 30 homecoming game against Laurel.
"Sometimes to get a track you have to put up with" disruptions, Estes said.
-- Josh Barr