Nearly 40 people played a role in helping lay more than 9,000 yards of sod over the weekend at Sweetland Stadium in Constantine.
The school district’s $100,000 allocation toward the new grass surface covered the entire portion of the stadium’s field, the installation of an in-ground watering system and dirt and seed for two practice football fields, according to Constantine athletic director Mike Messner.
Several members of the school’s varsity football team joined in the work, which started Saturday and concluded Sunday afternoon.
Though sections of the field had been replaced through the years, some of the outlying areas around its perimeter were original from when the field and stadium were created in the 1930s, Messner said.
The four remaining schools from the St. Joseph Valley League athletic conference are expected to join a newly created, 10-team league.
The Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference was announced this week during the Bronson Community Schools Board of Education meeting. The new league, which will include SJV members Centreville, Bronson, White Pigeon and Mendon, will debut in the 2014-15 academic year.
Other members will be New Buffalo and Lake Michigan Catholic from the Red Arrow Conference, and Cassopolis, Buchanan, Bridgman and Niles Brandywine from the Lakeland Conference.
The state of the SJV became jeopardized after Colon, Constantine and Schoolcraft left it in 2008.
Athletic directors from the 10 schools have agreed to split the new conference into east and west divisions.
Constantine alumnus and former football coach Dave Horn has offered to spearhead fundraising efforts to benefit upgrades at Sweetland Stadium.
Members of the district’s board of education have been presented three architectural drawings featuring various upgrades at the football, and track-and-field complex. Horn has started the push for potential improvements and the process will include feedback from the public.
Costs related to any upgrades have not been calculated and a time frame for the proposed upgrades has not yet been adopted.
District officials are expected to hear from Horn updates on the proposal at future board meetings.
The last basketball team in St. Joseph County still in the state playoffs was defeated Wednesday.
The White Pigeon boys basketball squad was stopped by Schoolcraft, 73-44, in a regional final at Constantine High School.
The Chiefs finish the season 15 and 9, while Schoolcraft advances with a 23 and 2 record
The White Pigeon boys basketball squad is the only remaining St. Joe County team in the boys state high school playoffs, as the Chiefs topped Bridgman in Class C regional play Monday, 41 to 33, in Constantine.
The win sets up a regional final rematch from 2011 Wednesday against Schoolcraft. The Eagles topped Bloomingdale in the regional nightcap Monday to take a 22-2 record into the 7 o’clock contest at Constantine. White Pigeon sports a 15-8 record and hopes to avenge its loss in the regional championship game two years ago.
In Class B action Monday, Sturgis came up a point short against undefeated Stevensville-Lakeshore, 37-36, in a contest in Marshall.
The Trojans were led by Chance Stewart, who had 30 points and 20 rebounds. Sturgis finishes its season 14-9 while Lakeshore improves to 23-0.
The 2012-13 boys basketball season ended Friday for Three Rivers, as the Wildcats lost a district championship contest to Sturgis High School, 58 to 37.
Three Rivers finishes the season with a 6-16 record. Sturgis, meanwhile, improved to 14-8 and will take on 21-0 Stevensville-Lakeshore in the opening round of Class B regional play at 6 p.m. Monday at Marshall High School.
In other area action, White Pigeon stunned Decatur with a buzzer-beating, half-court shot by Branson Salyer to claim a district title in Class C play Friday. The 14-8 Chiefs won, 44 to 41 and will begin regional play at 6 o’clock Monday in Constantine, where they take on a 9-14 Bridgman squad.
Also on Friday, Colon’s season ended in Class D play, as the 12-13 Magi fell to a one-loss Climax-Scotts team, 57 to 28.