KAPAUN FOOTBALL MAKES STRYKER NEW HOME
By Joanna Chadwick, VYPE Kansas Senior Writer
Not having an on-campus football field has created problems for Kapaun Mount Carmel over the years.
“You don’t have a place to call home,” Kapaun coach Dan Adelhardt said.
The Crusaders once played home games at Bishop Carroll, their crosstown rival into the 1990s. They have played at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium, which seats 24,000, since September 1, 2000.
“We appreciate the City League, we appreciate Wichita State,” Adelhardt said. “But we want our own field.”
Kapaun football will play its five home games at Stryker Sports Complex for the 2019 season.
“It is an amazing facility,” Kapaun athletic director John Cherne said. “… It’s a great opportunity to showcase the facility in front of City League schools. We have St. James come down and Andover comes over. It’s an opportunity for the city to put its best foot forward.”
Stryker is newly renovated and has artificial turf. It also seats 3,000, while Cessna Stadium, which has a grass field, seats 24,000. Both teams’ fans sit on the west side of the stadium at Wichita State and even with a big crowd, the atmosphere is rather sterile.
“Cessna is a very, very large venue,” Cherne said. “(Stryker) brings the crowd closer, closer to the action… At Cessna on the field, you can hear, but it’s not deafening. The crowd doesn’t affect the game near as much.”
Adelhardt added: “This is a unique opportunity. It will be a great, loud atmosphere… but we did not burn our bridges with Wichita State. We appreciate them. We have five home games this year and I think you’ll see a difference in how it is Game 1 to Game 5.”
The complex has 11 all-sports turf fields with lights, along with an indoor facility and the stadium. Kapaun paid $2,500 for each game at Cessna Stadium.
“A little more cost is incurred (at Stryker),” Cherne said.
There aren’t locker rooms in which the teams can change in and out of pads, so they will come fully dressed. There’s limited space in the press box. Parking could be an issue. Adelhardt is still thrilled.
“It will be a dynamic, fun, high school atmosphere,” he said.