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Football Long Beach Poly Wilson

Football: Wilson/Poly Game Moved To Cerritos College


Over the objections of Wilson football coach Mark Ziegenhagen, this week’s massively-hyped Wilson/Poly football game has been moved from Wilson’s Stephens Field to Cerritos College, where it will take place Friday at 7 p.m.

The decision to move the game came after concerns expressed by the Long Beach Unified School District over safety due to the overwhelming demand. Reportedly 1,000 tickets had been presold as of last weekend; Stephens Field has a capacity of approximately 4,000.

“After talking with school safety they recommended that due to the large crowd it would be good to look for an alternate venue,” said Wilson athletic director Jeff Evans. “We knew we’d be turning a lot of people away.”

Wilson fans aren’t happy about losing home field advantage, and neither is Ziegenhagen, whose Bruins squad is 6-0 for the first time in school history.

“I don’t want to do it, that’s for sure,” said Ziegenhagen. “We’re not going to let this affect us–it’s not an excuse, but let’s face it, it is an advantage we’re losing. Students walk to our field from their houses in the area, now we’re asking them to jump on a bus.”

Ziegenhagen was also frustrated about the loss of concession and parking revenue that will come with the move, both of which represented big money for his program at last year’s Poly game.  The option of building more bleachers beyond the end zones was not available because of the new track at the stadium, which could be damaged in the process.

“We’ll do all the things we’ve been doing for the last six weeks,” said Ziegenhagen. “It’s a crappy thing for the kids to be taken away from their home field, but it is what it is.”

Ziegenhagen and Poly coach Stephen Barbee will be on opposite sides of the field Friday, but they’re on the same side when it comes to which field they’ll be playing on.

“It’s a little depressing it’s not going to be in Long Beach,” said Barbee. “Play it at their place, put us on the other side at Vets, something–come on. It’s a bummer to have the biggest game in Long Beach be in another city.”


Cost: $8 general admission, $4 children/seniors, $3 students with ID

Tickets: Tickets are available at both schools’ bankers this week for students or the general public, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both campuses are closed to visitors during lunch. Follow @562sports on Twitter for updates.


Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.