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Veteran Robinson coach Mike DePue has embarked on his final prep football season screaming for a level playing field.
Literally. DePue wants someone -- anyone -- to cover the patches of dirt and smooth out the piles of earth on Jack Peters Field.
Such is the cruel irony that has cold-cocked DePue entering his farewell season. He has a team that may be the program's strongest ever on both sides of the trenches, but the trenches themselves are a mess. One of DePue's assistants drove by the field Saturday to find half of it essentially uprooted.
"I was incredulous," DePue said.
According to DePue, a company had been hired in June to fill in some of the field's dead spots, perform a procedure called top-dressing (applying a blended soil mixture over the surface) and level it.
DePue, whose team also practices on Jack Peters Field, said the job never was completed adequately. "What they're doing is beyond me," he said.
Reached by phone late Tuesday afternoon, Robinson athletic director Marcia Monk said the company returned over the weekend to re-sod some portions and topdress it, but wasn't able to finish the job due to rain. It's expected to be completed by the end of the week.
Meantime, the Knights must practice on a narrow strip of thick grass on the south end of campus, and in rightfield of the baseball stadium. Heavy area rainfall has rendered leftfield a "quagmire," DePue said.
"It's an insult to Robinson High School," he said.