Despite the growing excitement of the high school football season approaching, one of the most anticipated dates of the year for Wetumpka may have to be delayed.
Wetumpka Quarterback Club president Al Johnson announced on the club’s Facebook page all Wetumpka football teams will be starting the 2020 season at Hohenberg Field due to some unforeseen circumstances which have caused a delay in construction at the new stadium.
Although the specifics around the delay being unclear, Wetumpka is now shifting its focus to prepare Hohenberg Field for its home opener against Tallassee, scheduled for Aug. 28.
“We just want to have Hohenberg ready in case the new stadium isn’t 100% ready by Aug. 28,” Wetumpka coach Tim Perry said. “That was going to be the contingency plan all along in case something like this happened.”
Perry admitted there was plenty of excitement in getting to play in the new stadium but it’s not something the team has focused on as preparation for the new season has begun.
“Right now, we’re just focused on getting ready in practice,” Perry said. “We’re not focused on the new stadium at all. We’re just focused on getting the team ready to compete against a very good Prattville team.”
While there may be some disappointment in a delay to the opening of the new stadium, Perry and Johnson both said there may be a silver lining in getting to play one more game at Hohenberg which has been the home field for Wetumpka since 1909. Wetumpka takes a lot of pride in having success at home but the team lost its last two games at the stadium and four its last five.
“Hohenberg is a very special place to all of the people in Wetumpka and a special place to us,” Perry said. “That second-round playoff game is not how we would want to write the end of the story there. If it works out that we end up playing our game against Tallassee at Hohenberg, it would be special.”
There are plenty of memories in the series between Wetumpka and Tallassee with the two teams playing 67 times but they have not met since 2003. Getting to christen the new stadium with the rivalry would have been special but getting to play the matchup one more time at Hohenberg may be more fitting.
“The push back is kind of heartbreaking for a lot us around here,” Johnson said. “We were looking forward to opening the season at the new stadium. It is kind of mixed feelings though because it’s a little sentimental getting to play one more game at Hohenberg.”
The Wetumpka Quarterback Club is asking for assistance to make the last-minute preparations to the old stadium. Athletes, coaches and parents will be putting in work on the field this Saturday which includes cleaning the stands, concession stands and bathroom plus plenty of work on the field.
“There’s a lot of work that has to be done,” Johnson said. “We’re hoping to have the community come out and help.”