Column: When are these kids going to get some love from the community? |

Column: When are these kids going to get some love from the community?

Maybe the field-use squabbles are being staged to build momentum for Measure S special election on Sept. 19.

We could only hope to be so lucky.

But, in South Lake Tahoe, the confrontations between parents with school district and parks and recreation officials have become the norm, not the exception.

An ugly scene nearly developed on Monday morning when Lake Tahoe Unified School District’s Steve Morales considered denying three Pop Warner football games between South Tahoe and Truckee at South Tahoe High.

Even though the weather was ideal for football – sunny and cool, Morales had to take into consideration the fertilizing and watering the field received on the weekend. But why was the football field fertilized only six days before STHS’s season opener. Wasn’t the field adequately prepped before the season started?

Parents and youth league officials aren’t always privy to field maintenance decisions beforehand. The only definite way to know a field’s status is to show up and see a sign reading, “Field Closed.”

Monday’s contentious scene came on the heels of the postponement of Pop Warner’s season-opening games Saturday at STHS. Heavy rain on Friday and early Saturday left the field unplayable for the four games scheduled consecutively.

Do you think for a minute that the school district would have told South Tahoe High to postpone its football home opener because of a little rain? I thought lightning was the only one of Mother Nature’s powers capable of stopping a football game. Luckily for the Vikings, their season opener was Friday night in Sparks, where young children don’t have to worry where or when their next practice or game will be.

If Measure S and its dreamy solution of providing additional playing fields and an ice rink at a minor inconvenience to property owners fails, these problems won’t go away; they’ll only get worse. In case you haven’t noticed, more children are playing soccer, more children are playing football and more children are embracing BMX racing.

What does it tell us about our city when we have trouble providing our children with activities other towns take for granted? Families who receive this kind of treatment for very long won’t hesitate to leave.

Of course, this is a city that coddles tourists. We build ice rinks at the casinos for them; pour millions of dollars into redevelopment so more outsiders will visit this no-longer-unique-mountain-lake-with-legalized gambling destination; and arrange weekend softball tournaments during the summer for them, denying local children and adults valuable playing time on their insufficient fields.

Take a walk around school district property sometime. It’s frustrating to see lands that could be used for athletic fields left undeveloped and others such as the Field of Dreams taking forever to be constructed.

Our children deserve better. Let’s start making them feel at home in South Lake Tahoe.

* * *

While it’s disturbing to see local youths being neglected, it’s nice to see the athletes overcome some of these annoying obstacles.

If you didn’t have the time to watch the Vikings’ 40-26 season-opening victory over Sparks last Friday night, then don’t miss their home opener against Reed on Saturday.

This isn’t your typical conservative high school football team that rushes the ball every down and waits for their opponent to make mistakes. The Vikings put opposing defenses on their heels with a spread offense that is equally lethal passing the ball as it is running it with defending Northern Nevada 4A League rushing champion Jake Hurwitz.

Imagine what these young men would be doing if they had a field they could have called their own as youngsters?

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