TRPA lightens up on Pop Warner league |

TRPA lightens up on Pop Warner league

Rick Chandler

The Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department has a message for Lake Tahoe Pop Warner football players: Please come back, we miss you.

Our story so far: Tahoe’s youth football league, which plays on Friday nights, was forced to cancel a round of league games at their usual site at Kahle Park, situated on a hill near the base of Kingsbury Grade in Stateline. A majority of the games were played after dark, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency – which controls such issues – got wind of it and notified Douglas County Parks and Rec that the lights were not to be left on “past an hour after sunset,” so as not to bother residents.

So the youth football league moved the games to the softball field at South Tahoe Middle School. That field has lights, but it also has a dirt infield which takes up about half of the playing surface for football.

Ever get tackled on a hard dirt surface? It’s no fun, even in pads.

But now, it seems, the TRPA has reversed its field. The football players are welcome to come back, according to Douglas County Parks & Rec spokesman John Lufrano.

“The TRPA was going to host some meetings on the issue, but finally they said ‘What the heck, let the kids use the fields,'” Lufrano said. “We run the lights for Little League in the spring, and AYSO (youth soccer) uses them just about every weeknight.

“So as of last week, our policy has changed. Pop Warner is welcome to come back, but they have not chosen to do so.”

But some youth football people are not aware of the invitation, it seems. Whittell High varsity football coach John Summers, who has a son in Pop Warner, is still under the impression that youth football is banned at Kahle.

“We had to cancel a bunch of games because of people complaining about the lights,” he said. “As far as I know, we’re still going to play at the middle school.”

Can Douglas County and local youth football factions get together on this pressing issue? Stay tuned. We’ll leave a light on for you.

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