A football game between Edgewater and Lyman High Schools came to an abrupt end Wednesday night after part of the field collapsed into a large hole due to a faulty irrigation system.
Edgewater was hosting the game and leading 2-0 with 18 minutes left in the second half when a Lyman defender fell to the ground without contact from another player, Lyman head coach Chuck Green said.
“Walking on the land around it was like walking on a bed of water.”
— Kyle Rogers, Edgewater Football Coach
“He was on his feet, then all of a sudden he was on the ground with no one around him,” Green said.
The referees found that the player had rolled his ankle after tripping over a small hole in the pitch. More alarmingly, however, the hole was getting bigger, Green said.
Officials cleared the pitch as it quickly became too dangerous to continue the game, Edgewater head coach Kyle Rogers said.
“It was big, about the size of a dining room table and it was so deep. I couldn’t see the bottom,” Rogers said. like walking on a bed of water.”
Rogers also compared the feeling of walking near the field area to Okefenokee Swamp, a wetland off the Florida-Georgia line whose name roughly translates to “shake off the water” in the Hitchiti Creek culture. .
Edgewater maintenance quickly arrived on the scene and filled the hole with sand and placed a cone at the epicenter of the collapse.
The Lyman defender, who was not easily identified, suffered an ankle ligament injury a few months prior and missed the first three games of the season, Green said.
With plans to compete at the Boys College Showcase in North Carolina next week, the player has opted out of participating in future matches with Lyman in hopes that his ankle will be healed by the start of the tournament out of the state, Green said.
As soon as the hole manifested, theories as to what caused it spread among players and spectators, with many concluding that it must be a sinkhole.
However, Edgewater athletic director Lisa Montgomery said the hole was the result of a faulty irrigation system.
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“It wasn’t a sinkhole,” Montgomery said. “We are evaluating the problem and fixing it [Thursday]. We have a girl’s soccer game [Friday]and we hope to have it repaired in time.
If the hole and irrigation can’t be secured in time, the girls’ game will be called off, Montgomery said, but the faulty pitch could hit other team functions in multiple sports for the foreseeable future.
The field, which has been around since 1952, has hosted soccer, football and lacrosse games, Rogers said. Although the football season ends with the state championships next week, the football and lacrosse seasons have just begun.
Despite the odd interruption on Wednesday night, Edgewater were declared the winner as they had a lead early in the second half of the game.
“Once play starts the second half and then stops for some reason, the score stands,” Rogers said.
The loss is frustrating, but it doesn’t irritate Green as much as finding out that a faulty irrigation system caused the hole and his player’s injury.
“If it’s a sinkhole, that’s one thing, but it’s an irrigation problem. So there is water left there. Irrigation is hot, and that means it’s been a problem since before [Wednesday]”Vert said. “It’s frustrating. It’s dangerous and someone isn’t doing their job.