Monte football team returns to Rottle Field

MONTESANO — Both figuratively and literally, Montesano’s football team will celebrate Homecoming on Friday.

Not only will traditional Homecoming festivities be featured during Friday’s 7 p.m. game against Rainier, but the contest will also mark the return of Montesano’s football varsity to Rottle Field following the fire that destroyed the stadium’s grandstand last month.

In the aftermath of the fire, the Bulldogs played one home football game and several soccer matches at Aberdeen’s Stewart Field. Rottle Field was used for varsity soccer last week.

Temporary bleachers, primarily donated by Grays Harbor County Fair officials, have been erected around the field.

Seating will consist of 24 sets of bleachers, with five rows per set, Montesano athletic director Tim Trimble reported.

The majority of the seating will be located between the 25-yard line and the end zone on both ends and both sides of the field. There will also be bleachers beyond the south end zone. There will be no field-level seats between the 40s because the spectators’ view would be blocked by players on the sidelines, Trimble noted.

The equivalent of premium seating consists of one set of elevated bleachers, located near midfield near the ticket booth on the west end of the stadium. Those will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Public address announcer Darin Prince and Montesano’s clock and scoreboard operators will be stationed on a type of elevated platform or lift near the maintenance shed on the north end of the field.

Trimble estimates the seating capacity at about 600, but believes many spectators will stake out their own locations.

“We’re thinking that most people are going to stand,” he said, “because the bleachers are pretty uncomfortable.”

Because of the seating configuration, halftime Homecoming and pre-game Senior Night festivities have been moved from the track to the field, Trimble added.

If they retain second place in the Evergreen 1A League, the Bulldogs would have choice of fields for a winner-to-state crossover game on Nov. 3 or 4. Trimble is non-committal about the location of that game, saying no decision would be made until school officials see how things develop on Friday.

“We really don’t know at this point in time,” he said.