Plattsmouth is converting its football field to synthetic turf and building a new baseball field that will have a turf infield and grass outfield.

Once those projects are completed, Athletic Director Shaun Brothers said, the stadium track will be resurfaced.

Because the completion date for the football field is scheduled for Sept. 13, the Blue Devils will play their season-opening game against Blair at Bellevue East's Chieftain Stadium. The first game on the new field is to be against Elkhorn on Sept. 20.

The baseball field is scheduled to be completed in early November and the track done around the same time.

Brothers said donations are paying for the football and baseball improvements. The Plattsmouth school district is paying for the cost of replacing the track.

With Norris also considering a turf field, that could leave Bennington, Blair, Gretna and Waverly as the only Eastern Midlands Conference schools still playing football on grass in 2014.

Eight-man ranks shrink by four teams

Newcastle's decision last week to forfeit its eight-man football schedule and play six-man on the junior-varsity level — because of low participation — is causing the Nebraska School Activities Association to try to find games to fill the schedules of the affected opponents.

Since last fall, Dorchester, Lindsay Holy Family and Banner County elected to drop eight-man ball. Holy Family and Banner County, like Newcastle, are playing six-man JV games.

Additionally, North Loup-Scotia has forfeited its six-man schedule.

NSAA signs on to national online prep network

The Nebraska School Activities Association is one of 28 members of the National Federation of State High School Associations that has joined the NFHS Network, the new all-digital network devoted to coverage of high school sports and activities through the Internet at www.NFHSnetwork.com.

For events produced by the NFHS Network, such as championship events not included in the states' existing TV contracts (the NSAA has one with NET), a daily subscription is $6.95, a monthly roll-over subscription is $14.95 and a one-year subscription is $89.95.

Iowa's boys and girls associations are not part of the new network.

OPS announces coaching changes

New head coaches have been announced by the Omaha Public Schools at the seven high schools in the district:

» Benson: Swimming, Jane Laughlin; boys track, Mark Meier; boys soccer, Emily Agular.

» Bryan: Boys basketball, Terrence O'Donnell; volleyball, Alan Nesbitt; boys soccer, position open.

» Burke: Girls tennis, Alexia Grefe

» Central: Girls basketball, Kris Kuhn.

» North: Boys basketball, Jared Anderson; girls soccer, Jose Vargas; swimming, Chris West; baseball, Eric Janecek.

» Northwest: Girls soccer, Elizabeth Weiner; boys soccer, position open.

» South: no changes.

Akers to speak at Marian hall

Olympic gold-medal soccer player Michelle Akers will be the guest speaker for Omaha Marian's athletic hall of fame night on Aug. 24. The event starts with a 6 p.m. reception and autograph signing, with the 7 p.m. dinner preceding the awards ceremony. Tickets are $50 per person.

Entering the hall will be athletes Sara Loeffelholz (2006) and Colette Shelton Pawol (1977), coach Connie Cavel, patrons Dick and Mary Spanheimer and the 2004-05 state championship swim team that won nine of 12 events at state.

Contact Marian's alumnae director, Nancy Casey, at ncasey@omahamarian.org or 402-571-2618, ext. 270.

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