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FLS Varsity brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school sports.

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Monday night football can be costly

Taft Coghill checks in with this update on how Monday night games hurt athletic budgets:

Wet weather in the Fredericksburg-area this month has been the source of major headaches for high school athletic directors.

Several football games have had to be postponed from Friday nights to Mondays, causing athletic programs to lose money.

“Going from Friday to Monday,” James Monroe football coach and athletic director Rich Serbay said, “you’ll lose anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.”

Two of James Monroe’s three home games so far have been played on a Monday. Caroline has yet to have a Friday home game.

Revenue earned from football games supports the rest of the athletic programs at schools, Serbay and Cavaliers athletic director Jeremy Jack said.

“The weather has been almost unbearable,” Jack said. “It’s forced us to make some moves that have definitely been detrimental to our budget.”

Serbay said the Yellow Jackets’ lone Friday home game, against Stafford, was a major money-maker. He was anticipating a big night against Eastern View last Friday. But when the game was played on Monday, Serbay glanced in the crowd and was disappointed with the number of fans he saw.

He understands, however.

Serbay said while Friday night games kick off weekend festivities for students and their families, Monday is the beginning of a grueling work-week.

“It’s a losing proposition on a Monday night,” Serbay said. “The only benefit is you don’t tear your field up.”

Jack and Serbay said deciding whether to play in the rain on a Friday or on a clear Monday night is a balancing act. The athletic program can incur costly field repairs if the game is played on a wet surface.

“A lot of schools have thousands of dollars invested in their field,” Jack said.

Jack said because the Cavaliers have just three home games remaining, there’s a possibility they may have to schedule additional fundraisers to make up for the budget shortfalls. He and Serbay said good boys and girls basketball seasons could also help make up the difference.

“It causes me great concern as an athletic director,” Serbay said of football losing money as it supports other programs. “I hope to goodness the basketball team has a good year to make up for lost revenue.”