(12-6-22) Many high schools are moving to turf football fields, most with excitement and anticipation. It was no different for Niles (Michigan) High School…but what took place this past football season will be remembered for a long time.

The new Niles field got a very late start in August just before the start of the football season, what that created was a complete season of every game being played on the road.

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It was decided by the school administration before the season started that the Vikings would play their home games at either Berrien Springs, St. Joseph or Dowagiac. In week 2 Niles would play rival Buchanan at Berrien Springs. The hope was to play the final regular season at home and celebrate the new field…but that didn’t happen.

Niles would start the season going 1-4, but would win the next four games to finish the season at 5-4 to qualify for the state playoffs. They would beat Three Rivers in the 1st playoff game 56-32. Next up was powerhouse Edwardsburg and the Vikings would give the Eddies a run for their money losing 24-17. Niles would finish the season 6-5.

Despite the setback of the turf field Niles Football Coach Scot Shaw is turning around a program that has suffered for many years.

Finally, after the season was complete so was the installation of the turf and it was time to celebrate a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 17th. But a November snowstorm put an end to that….just another bump in the road.

Niles football hopes to play on the new turf surface when they host former Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference rival St. Joseph on August 25, 2023. 

Did you know…

Niles has competed in three different conferences in the last five years…Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference, the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph (BCS) League for one year and now the Wolverine Conference.

For the Vikings it had been 22 years since the last time they qualified for the playoffs (due to COVID everybody was in the 2020 playoffs)

Niles had not had a winning season in over 20 years, but in Shaw’s first two seasons he has gone 11-9…5-4 in 2021 and 6-5 in 2022.

Niles Community Schools Athletic Turf Update

Carmi Design Group – You Tube Video

from 11-3-22