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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Peru State hopes Oak Bowl ready for homecoming on Oct. 5

  • Peru State College hopes the first phase of renovations at the Oak Bowl football stadium are complete for a homecoming game tentatively set for Oct. 5, but athletic directors are weighing options in the event that construction is delayed.

    Nebraska City Superintendent Jeff Edwards said the standard rate to lease Pioneer Field is $1,000 per game.
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  • Superintendent Jeff Edwards told the Nebraska City School Board Monday that Peru State College is looking for alternative locations for home games if its $14 million renovation of the Oak Bowl is not complete for next season.
    Ted Harshbarger, Peru State sports information director, said the college scheduled its first two home games of the season at the Auburn High School field because it is equipped with adjustable goals posts.
    If construction goes as scheduled, the Bobcats will play on the renovated field for homecoming, which is tentatively scheduled Oct. 5 against Avila University.
    Harshbarger said additional high school fields may be considered if the Oak Bowl is not available for four home games in October and November.
    Edwards told the school board that the Nebraska City field can be rented for $1,000 a game.
    Peru State broke ground in October on the first renovation of the football stadium since it was constructed in 1900.
    College President Dan Hanson said the project is part of the college's forward momentum.
    "A revitalized Oak Bowl will allow the college to be competitive both on the field and in student recruitment," he said.
    Besides Bobcat football, the lighted turf field will be used for intramural activities, band competitions and high school football playoffs.
    The first phase of the project includes improvements to the field, the stadium bowl, its rest­rooms and press box. The college hopes to receive donations to complete the remaining project, including a new field house, within a year to 18 months.
    The new fieldhouse will serve as team headquarters for the Bobcats and the existing fieldhouse will be used as the visitors' locker rooms.
    The state Legislature provided $7.5 million for the project, but Hanson said private donations are needed to complete work.
    Bill Sapp and Lee Sapp, owners of Sapp Brothers Travel Centers and Petroleum, have made the first significant gift to the project. Their donation of $500,000 is the largest single non-estate gift in the institution's history.
    The Sapps made the contribution in honor of their mother, Emilie Hubka Sapp, and their sisters, Veloura Sapp Barnard and Zelma Sapp Drake. All three were teachers who attended Peru State.
    Peru State is planning an alumni football game on April 27, which will utilize the practice field north of the construction area. Tours of the project area will be available.
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