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Neighbors Voice Concern Over Football Field

It's the first year for an area football team, and they're stirring up some controversy in their own community.
BOALSBURG, CENTRE COUNTY - It's the first year for an area football team, and they're stirring up some controversy in their own community.

St. Joseph's Catholic Academy plays football on Friday nights on a makeshift field in Boalsburg behind their school, but some neighbors in the area call the field intrusive and a bit of a nuisance.

"We're right on the 50 yard line and have a more open view of the football field," Tom Weber said.

A seat on the 50 yard line is one most people usually want, but not Weber.

"We came home from vacation and sort of found there was a football field and schedule," he said.

On Friday nights in the fall, St. Joseph's Catholic Academy plays football on the makeshift field, right behind his house.

"We were sort of caught off guard to know they were having night games and lights and the things that go with that," Weber said.

He says the lights and noise from the generators are too loud and sometimes the music is a little excessive, but for him, the biggest problem are wanderers.

"We've had a few people sort of wander in, try to use our backyard swing," he said.

"That school, being in the middle of a residential neighborhood, is not the best location for a football field," Harris Township Manager, Amy Farkas, said.

Farkas has been fielding complaints from neighbors for a while. She says the school is willing to compromise, but neighbors have to be patient.

"It was an elementary school for years and didn't have the level of after school activity that a high school has," she said. "I think everyone is willing to give them some time to try and iron out any other remaining issues."

Something Weber agrees with.

"We just have to stay as good neighbors, so we have to work together," he said. "They need to listen to our issues and we need to understand their situation."

School officials say they've reached out to State College and Bald Eagle High Schools to use their fields, but have been declined.

They say they're discussing possibilities for next year's season and will decide whether or not the team will continue to play at the school or elsewhere.
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