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Prep football: Jordan waiting for home field

They are the No. 1-ranked prep football team in the state.

Yet with three weeks remaining in the 2007 regular season, they haven't played a down inside their own stadium and possibly won't until the first round of the 5A playoffs.

Welcome to life for the Jordan High Beetdiggers.

Because of numerous installation delays to their new, high-technology ProPlay artificial field, the 'Diggers haven't had a true home game in 2007.

Cottonwood was gracious enough to allow Jordan High to play two of its "home games" at the Colts' stadium, while two others — including the 'Diggers game this Friday against Brighton — have been changed to road games.

However, the uncertainty of their own field hasn't changed their play on other teams' fields. Despite not playing a single home game, No. 1 Jordan is 6-1 and hasn't lost a game in Utah.

Talk about being a road warrior.

According to coach Alex Jacobson, the Beetdiggers simply haven't spent time worrying about the mounting delays to the completion of their new field.

"We don't care where we play," said Jacobson. "We're just going to go play good, hard-nosed football — that's the attitude we've taken."

Many Utah high schools have installed new turf fields in recent years, but Jordan's decision to do so came when an alumnus recently approached Jacobson and asked what he could do to help with the football program.

Coach Jacobson responded that (1) Jordan needed to upgrade its weight room, and (2) needed an artificial surface in its football stadium.

The booster immediately pulled out his checkbook and committed to help pay for both expenses.

According to Jacobson, what has delayed the completion of the ProPlay surface, which was supposed to be completed in time for the start of the season, has been the discovery of unexpected soft spots underneath Jordan's old field.

After this week, the 'Diggers have one scheduled home game left in the regular season — Oct. 12 against Skyline — and Jacobson said there's a chance the field will be completed in time for it, depending largely on the weather this weekend.

However, once the new field is finally completed, it should be a huge asset to Jordan and its surrounding community.

Unlike some of the other artificial surfaces that have been installed in recent years, Jacobson said the ProPlay system won't need to be replaced in 10 years or so, won't have loose deposits of black rubber that get into players' shoes and will have lower temperatures.

"We've really done the research, and we feel like this is the best," said Jacobson. "There might be something better in 10 years, but we feel like this is going to be state of the art."

TOP 25 WATCH: Highland's 17-14 upset over Cottonwood in Week 7 produced the biggest shift in the top half of this week's Deseret Morning News Top 25 rankings.

Highland climbed four spots to No. 8, while Cottonwood fell four spots to No. 9.

Davis was far-and-away the biggest winner in this week's 14-writer poll, as the Darts, who beat rival Viewmont last Friday, climbed six spots to No. 16.

On the other hand, No. 19 American Fork (down nine spots) and No. 24 Cyprus (down seven spots) were the biggest losers in the poll.


E-mail: drasmussen@desnews.com