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Hawley to play its home football games in F-M due to work on school's field

For a playoff-tested team like the Nuggets, that’s certainly a feeling they are used to.

As part of a nearly $12 million project to renovate Hawley’s high school and elementary schools, the football field is undergoing a makeover. Because of that, the Nuggets will be playing their home games at neutral sites in Fargo-Moorhead this year.

Hawley – which is the two-time defending champion in Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 – opens its season with a pair of road games. The Nuggets’ home schedule begins Sept. 12 against Crookston, which is expected to be played at Moorhead High School.

Hawley’s home schedule right now has two games at Moorhead High, one at Concordia College and one at the Fargodome. Details still remain to be worked out regarding the use of Moorhead High’s stadium.

“There’s probably a little bit of disappointment for some of the seniors,” Hawley head coach Peder Naatz said of his team’s inability to use its own field. “We kind of presented it to the kids that it will be good for the long haul.”

Hawley’s football field is getting a new drainage system, will be re-seeded and will have a sprinkler system installed.

Naatz said a number of possible locations for the home games were considered, including playing a home game at the opponent’s stadium or trying to play home games at Hawley’s practice field.

“We have a pretty decent practice area (in Hawley),” Naatz said. “But you got to set goalposts and get it marked exactly right.”

Ultimately, he and activities director Brett Schmidt felt playing on F-M fields with artificial turf was the best solution.

“It’s going to be a good surface every night and every game we have at our home,” Naatz said. “… It will add a couple of wrinkles in your travel every week. We can suit up at home and drive 25 or 30 minutes and be ready to go.”

Hayden Goethe

Hayden Goethe is the Design Center Manager for Forum Communications and formerly the Assistant Sports Editor at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. A native of Thief River Falls, Minn., and a graduate of Minnesota State Moorhead, Goethe has been working at The Forum since 2002.

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