Oct. 23—The VASJ football team will be playing an actual home playoff game, after all.
Athletic director Jeff Teringo informed The News-Herad early on Oct. 23 that the Ohio High School Athletic Association has given approval for VASJ to host University at Gutbrod Field in a Division III, Region 9 game on Friday, Oct. 27.
Teringo said over the weekend that the game was tentatively going to be played at Brooklyn High School. But after discussion with the OHSAA, the game will be played on the new artificial turf Gutbrod Field.
"We were under the belief that if we didn't have a press box facility, we couldn't host," Teringo said. "The OHSAA said that as long as both schools agree to it, it's OK to play here. University contacted us and said they'd rather play here at VASJ than in Brooklyn. They were very cooperative with us."
In lieu of an actual press box at the stadium, Teringo said a portion of the seating will be set aside for clock operators. Said Teringo, "We will have a platform on the bleachers for announcers and we will either build boxes or rent scissor lifts for the coaches."
University head football coach Ben Malbasa said he was all for the game being played at VASJ for two reasons.
"First, they earned that home game," Malbasa said. "Secondly, they have made an incredible community investment in their field. If they have to make a few small adjustments, hey, let's make it work. It's going to be a great atmosphere."
University (6-3) enters as the 12th seed in Division III, Region 9. VASJ (7-3) is the fifth seed. The Vikings played their first game at Gutbrod Field on Oct. 20, posting a 45-0 win over Cleveland Central Catholic.
Coach Jeff Rotsky said word spread fast around the school that VASJ would be hosting University on Oct. 27.
"It's amazing," Rotsky said. "I'm so excited for the kids. They were so juiced up to play on our own field last week. This Friday's going to be exciting."