Flooding causes damage to Roger Bacon's Bron Bacevich Stadium

Posted at 3:38 PM, Aug 29, 2016

ST. BERNARD, Ohio -- Mike Blaut attended a youth football event Sunday when he had to leave for a meeting at Roger Bacon High School.

Then, he received a few phone calls from some friends that undoubtedly surprised him.

“They said, ‘Dude, your field is under water,'’’ Blaut said.

When Blaut returned to Bron Bacevich Stadium, he found the water to be up to his mid-calf, approximately 18 inches deep Sunday night.

Blaut said the Motz Group is assessing the damage including any sanitation hazards at the stadium, which opened in 1954 and is one of the state's oldest high school football venues. The sand and gravel has likely shifted and the turf may have to be rolled up and reinstalled due to sanitation concerns. The stadium sits very low and a lot of water poured in from the east side of the stadium, according to Roger Bacon athletic director Steve Rossi.

Roger Bacon’s football field has been rendered unusable until damage from weekend flooding can be repaired. (Courtesy of Mike Blaut)

Roger Bacon and St. Bernard Elmwood-Place play home games at the stadium at 35 East Mitchell Ave. in St. Bernard. It has hosted several standout football players over the years including Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, a 1960 Purcell graduate.

The stadium, named after the late Roger Bacon football coach, holds between 3,000 to 4,000, Rossi said. 

The turf is nine years old and was holding up well until this weekend, according to Rossi. Roger Bacon expects to have the conclusion of the Motz Group's assessment by Tuesday, but he's already contacted area schools about being potential host sites for the remainder of the football schedule.

"I think we are both (Roger Bacon and St. Bernard) going to be away for an extended period of time," Rossi said.

Blaut, a 1988 Roger Bacon graduate, said a 50-yard field behind the Friars Club will serve as its practice field and the team will share it with the soccer squad.

The girls' soccer team plays Reading at 7 p.m. today at St. Ursula instead of Bron Bacevich Stadium.

“I’ve been going here for years,” Blaut said. “My brothers went here. I’ve never seen it flood like this."

In football, the Spartans (1-0) play at Western Hills (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday but Roger Bacon athletics officials have already discussed a contingency plan for the Sept. 9 home game against Indian Hill.

The Week 1 weather couldn't have been been worse for the Spartans, who waited 90 minutes at the school Friday night before learning their Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown game at Sheakley Athletics Center was postponed until Saturday morning.

Roger Bacon defeated Reading 24-0 on Saturday morning.

Roger Bacon was scheduled to host its first girls’ volleyball match against Mercy at Buddy LaRosa Court  in the newly renovated Thomas J. Fogarty Center, but that has been postponed until Wednesday. Fortunately, little water was found in the gym, Rossi said. 

St. Bernard Elmwood-Place coach Dan Osborne said the Titans are scheduled to play Miami Valley Christian Academy Friday at Turpin. He said he will wait to hear from Roger Bacon officials regarding the future use of the stadium this season. 

"If we are a road team the remainder of the season, then that's how it's going to be," Osborne said. 

Norwood didn’t have school Monday due to flooding, but Indians coach Paul Jenne said its home venue, Shea Stadium. is OK. The team planned a team meeting for 3:30 p.m.