Decatur High School will host its first football game of the season in week eight.
The Bulldogs have not had a home game this season due to damage to the football field after a series of thunderstorms in June. Decatur Athletic Director Rodney Thomas told The Champion in August that the entire field had to be replaced.
“A lot of that storm water runs through [the school],” Thomas said. “So, [water] ran under ground in our parking lot, blew off some manhole covers and in turn bloated the field. All of that water got beneath the field and it lifted the field up, put wrinkles in the field, shifted a lot of the gravel and pretty much ruined the field. So, the field is not playable.”
A source told The Champion Sept. 6 that the new field turf was being installed that day, which was later than expected. Decatur had hoped to have its first home game Sept. 7 against St. Pius X, but the game was moved to St. Pius.
Decatur had an open week Sept. 14 and its next two games were scheduled road games—at Grady Sept. 21 and at Riverwood Sept. 28. The Bulldogs will have their first home game Oct. 5 against North Springs, followed by their homecoming matchup against Banneker Oct. 12.
Decatur will play two more road games before closing out the regular season at home against Carver-Atlanta Nov. 2, leaving the Bulldogs with three total home games this season.
Thomas could not disclose the total cost to replace the field but said getting new turf could cost from $400,000 up to $700,000. The football team was practicing on a field at the United Methodist Children’s Home while the field was being replaced.