Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Solution Eyed for Home Games at Linden's Field

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Solution Eyed for Home Games at Linden's Field

Article excerpt

LINDEN | For Linden High School's football team, a resolution may be in the works that would enable the Patriots to return to play their home games at Linden Athletic Field.

The Linden Athletic Association, which has owned the field for more than three decades after purchasing it from the city, has expressed interest in returning the field to the city. This comes on the heels of a decision made last week by the Linden board of education to reject the association's proposed increase in fees and instead play its home games at Marengo High in Dixons Mills -- a 20- mile drive from the school's campus.

Hale Smith, the president of Linden Athletic Association, has said it would be in the best interest of both schools that share the field -- Marengo Academy and Linden High -- if the city were to assume ownership of the property. Under its original contract to purchase the field in 1974, the Linden Athletic Association agreed that it would not sell the field and that ownership could only revert to the city.

Smith, who couldn't be reached for comment, was not present at the Linden City Council meeting Tuesday. In two weeks, the council will meet again. It is expected that Smith will make a presentation then.

In recent days, the city has made steps to ensure Linden High's football future. Linden City superintendent Tyrone Smith, Linden High principal Timothy Thurman and Linden High football coach Andro Williams scouted George P. Austin Junior High School's field as a possible building site for a new football stadium for the Patriots.

Up until 1978, Linden High used the field at George P. Austin Junior High for all its home games. The move to Linden Athletic Field was made because of the poor condition of the Austin field at the time.

Marengo County superintendent Luther Hallmark said that if Linden High could come to an agreement to play elsewhere, he would allow the school out of the current contract of $850 per game in Dixons Mills. He said there would be no monetary penalty to void the contract.

Linden High has three remaining home dates on its schedule before the start of playoffs. If the Linden Athletic Association were to offer Linden Athletic Field to the city in two weeks, it still might not be in time for any games to be played there. …

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