KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Some Kansas City, Mo., high school teams aimed for touchdowns on a torn and tattered field this Friday night that many say is unsafe to play on.
Pastor John Mark Clifton's church sits across from Southwest Early College Campus, and he spends a lot of time with the team. This Friday saw several improvements at the Interscholastic League Stadium -- including adding additional bleachers and flags in the end zone, and a time clock -- but there is still a long way to go, team supporters say.
"I just (want) them to have a wonderful high school football experience," Clifton explained.
The 25-year-old grandstands are no longer grand at the football field behind Southeast High School where most of the Kansas City Schools' teams now play.
The stands were deemed unsafe after a summer inspection and temporary stands have been brought in.
Because there is no access to the press box, a temporary P. A. system was installed. Empty posts stand where a score board used to be.
You have to squint to see the temporary game clock across the field.
There are still voids to fill like one just outside the sidelines along the fifty yard line, ripe for injuring a player.
Last year's homecoming game serves as a reminder for many about safety.
"When Southwest was leaving the game, their bus got shot at, six bullets" Clifton said.
No one was hurt but now many families want metal detectors at the gates. They say they had them last year.
District officials declined an on-camera interview, but did say metal detectors would not have prevented last year's shooting because it happened in the parking lot outside of the stadium.
The district also shared their plans for continued improvement of the stadium on Meyer Boulevard, including a score board, which will be installed at the facility next week -- five weeks into the season.
The district also has an information page on their website, www.kcpublicschools.org, about the stadium improvements.
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