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  • Ednold

North Valley 10/15/21

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

The fun thing about attending these football games is that each of them is different. Every school and every community has their own take on what a high school football game means and what that experience should be like. As different as they have all been, they have all been enjoyable and I'm happy we had the chance to see the North Valley Knights take on the Henley Hornets at Knight Coliseum.

North Valley isn't in Grants Pass but it has a Grants Pass address and it's part of the Grants Pass school district. It's actually in the valley north of Grants Pass between I-5 and the town of Merlin. In fact, we could see the lights at the field from I-5 before we exited onto Monument Drive.

We parked the bucket in the spacious parking lot outside the newish, modern school building and followed the crowd toward the field. The entryway to the Knight Coliseum is really nifty, with a couple of ticket booths and restroom facilities that are relatively palatial. $5 Got each of us in with a program and we went to find a nice place in the bleachers. Unfortunately, we discovered that the word coliseum might be a bit of an overstatement for the seating options we found. I wasn't expecting an actual coliseum. This was rural Grants Pass, after all, not Los Angeles. But I was expecting a nice place to sit.

There is a nice, big terrace offering a perfect spot for a grandstand, but they’ve chosen to fill that terrace with five or six little portable bleachers. I'm not sure why they made that choice, but it's a shame the seating isn't as nice as the rest of the facilities. As it was, we ended up not being able to see the action for long stretches of the game due to the low benches combined with the fence in front of us and people who chose to stand between us and the players. To be fair, the student section was a few rows of bleachers taller than the others and if you were sitting in one of those top few rows the fence probably wasn’t an issue, but for everyone else it is a less-than-optimal viewing experience. There is another small set of bleachers set up on the hillside on the other side of the field for the visitors.

The "Coliseum" is situated between two small hills that make a perfect natural spot for watching a football game. The field is natural grass with a nice rubber asphalt track around it, and the scoreboard is nice and big. This week's fun fact: A sound of 150 decibels can burst your eardrums. With this in mind I'm guessing North Valley may want to consider turning down their PA system a few notches. Mrs. Ednold and I just may open a hearing aid shop in that area in a few years and make a killing.

The Knights compete in 4A Special District 5, as do the Henley Hornets, their opponents for this game. Henley came in with a 5-1 record, but the Knights were 5-2 themselves so I was expecting a pretty tight game. That wasn't what we got though. The Hornets took control early and never gave it up. They led 33-0 at halftime and scored early in the second half to take a lead that had the clock ticking continuously for the rest of the game. Nobody scored after that and the final was 40-0. Strange for two teams who were ranked #10 and #11 in the state before the game.

The nice family sitting in front of us were mainly there to watch their daughter display her cheering ability at halftime as a member of the Future NVHS cheerleaders, and the little girls in burgundy t-shirts were everywhere. They provided us with a little halftime entertainment and were really the only thing the home fans had to cheer for all night.

The evening was a chilly but it never did get cold, and for this time of year that was better than we had expected. But it was still cool enough for me to be thankful that the coffee they offered at the Quarterback Shack was nice and hot.

North Valley could be a really nice place to watch a football game. It's not, but it could be. A real grandstand would go a long way toward making the experience more enjoyable, and I hope they're considering investing in one that would make the Coliseum just a tiny bit more like a real coliseum. That, and maybe turn that PA system down a smidge, and we just might be back someday.

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Oct 18, 2021

Enold, Sorry your trip to North Valley wasn't better. Why didn't you just tell the lady "Down in Front?. You[re too nice.

When I taught school in Grants Pass there wasn't any North Valley. How times change.



Oct 17, 2021

You two have been a busy couple these last two weeks. I enjoy reading about the smaller schools you have visited......especially the ones over in John Day country, a favorite part of our great state. Keep up the good work.

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