New soccer stadium won’t be ready for Derby boys season

Jackson Davis and Katelin Taranovich

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A new high school soccer stadium is being built on Madison Avenue.

But the stadium is unlikely to be ready for the boys season, which starts Aug. 30 with a home game against Wichita Northwest.

“We’re not going to be playing there this season,” senior forward Michael Self said.

The stadium’s construction was a part of the bond issue that approved just over $4 million for soccer’s stadium.

The stadium plan was approved by the Derby Planning Commission during a meeting on March 21. Construction began shortly after. 

Construction has been relatively slow. 

“They’re behind schedule, plain and simple,” Burke said. “They just now put half the sod down (Tuesday). That being said, we’re probably still a month out from even touching it if the sod takes.”

Rain has been one of the biggest obstacles to construction. It was a wet summer, so the site was too wet to work on. 

“It’s kind of disappointing because at the end of the last season we were being told it would be done,” senior Connor Robinette said. “But it’s nice to know the future varsity and (junior varsity) kids will have a place to play. I think it will really help the program.” 

Senior Matt Young added: “It will be cool to see my brother play there. He’ll be a freshman next year so he will get to play there his four years here.” 

Since soccer doesn’t have its own stadium, it shares space with football.

“A lot of times we need to go to a new facility to play whenever football takes our place,” Self said.

“It’s just a scheduling nightmare,” soccer coach Paul Burke said. “Having a new stadium just for soccer would open up a lot of scheduling, and I think that’s what was the main attraction for both sides, not only for the soccer team but also the school district.”

Burke has high hopes for the stadium. 

“I’m glad to see it come,” he said. “It’s been a long time. We’re probably the only sport that doesn’t have our own actual home. So yes, we’re excited to see it happen. It’s something the soccer team needed.”.