Midnight practice irritates neighbors
Floodlights and football whistles were considered "callous disregard" by residents last month when the Mancos High School football team held a late-night scrimmage.
"It was very inconsiderate," one resident wrote in protest.
"I am a taxpayer, and do not appreciate having my sleep disturbed by an unnecessary scrimmage in the middle of the night," another neighbor said in a complaint.
"I will not tolerate this in the future," yet another resident moaned.
Records from the town marshal reveal five written grievances were filed regarding a nighttime scrimmage held on Sunday, Aug. 11. The two-hour practice reportedly started around 11:30 p.m.
"We apologize if we inconvenienced anybody," said Mancos High School Head Coach Adam Priestley.
The season-opening football practice was heralded as a midnight-madness celebration to pump up both the team and community about preseason two-a-day practices, he said.
"It was something different to get the kids excited," Priestley said. "We wanted the players to have some fun."
In his second season as head coach, Priestley said no complaints were received when he initiated the midnight training last year.
Town Marshal John Cox said his agency received a single complaint on the night in question, but the practice was wrapping up by the time an officer arrived on the scene.
Most of the residents' objections were filed in following days, he said.
"The football coach was not issued a citation," Cox said.
Priestley said he would take additional precautions in the future to properly inform the community.
A proposed electronic LED sign in front of the school cafeteria might have been able to lessen the blow if townspeople had known about the kickoff of this year's practice, he said.
The Mancos K-12 Parent Teacher Association is currently lobbying for the new LED school sign, but a town ordinance restricts such electronic signs.
A public hearing about the proposed sign is slated for 7 p.m. at Town Hall on Sept. 18.
With a 0-2 start on the season, the Mancos High School football team hosts Sanford High School on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
"We hope the community will come out and support the team," Priestley said.