It’s never really made sense to me that Redlands East Valley didn’t have a football stadium. Or an upgraded track & field facility. Soccer’s been so big at REV, it almost seems backward that the little Mentone campus hasn’t sprung for a top-flight pitch.

Back in the late 1990s when the Wildcats came to life, football games for both Redlands high schools were played on Friday nights at the University of Redlands’ Ted Runner Stadium. All seemed fair and square.

It was perfect for Friday nights when the Terriers and Wildcats clashed. An entire city could pile into that neutral site ⎯ best football field in the entire county, right? ⎯ to determine bragging rights.

Then the growth really started.

Redlands was joined by REV, later joined by Citrus Valley.

By 2009, when Citrus Valley High came into the fold, football stadium and all, Wildcats’ football ⎯ not to mention REV’s track & field and soccer programs ⎯ were state-of-the-art results. No sense listing all their achievements here. There were plenty.

Redlands High had its stadium.

Citrus Valley had one, too.

REV, well, not so fast. It seemed curious, especially because REV football had played at a higher level than its brother programs. 

Ex-Wildcats’ coach Kurt Bruich won’t divulge much commentary upon his cross-city movement from REV to Citrus Valley. He’s clearly placed REV in his rear-view mirror and won’t comment. Understood.

Love to hear his insights.

He could shed some light. Some stadium plans had been actually drawn up. It’s possible the San Manuel Band of Indians might’ve been set to finance something over at REV’s Mentone site. It’s also possible that the neighborhood was dead set against a handful of Friday nights taking up their quiet time.

This is a problem.

Redlands schools is clearly in the cross-hairs.

Someone’s got to solve this.

If Redlands schools isn’t going to budge on this, maybe there are a few alternatives to building a stadium:

* Constructing an artificial turf field for football and soccer.

* Adding an all-weather surface for track.

* Lights?

* Moving football games back to the U of R on Friday nights. Is that option still available? I’m hearing it isn’t.

* Speaking of lights: I drive past RHS and Citrus Valley on many occasions. Don’t see the lights on all that often. Are they really, really, really needed? I’ll get hit in the head for this, but do we need night football? What about 3 p.m. kickoffs?

Something’s got to give.

If I’m a parent with athletic kids at REV ⎯ football, track and soccer in particular ⎯ I want my kids to have the same accommodations that Redlands and Citrus Valley have available.

Transferring is one option.

Typically, Redlands schools don’t allow such movement. At least without that dreaded sit-out, half-a-season period. Its leadership doesn’t seem to advance those transfer forms to the CIF-Southern Section office for consideration. This seems like a reasonable reason to transfer. There must be a private understanding between the trio of high school campuses: No transfers!

Wonder what the CIF federation officials would say to a transferring REV athlete who says,“I want to move to Redlands or Citrus Valley because they have better facilities? Safer facilities? It's not evenly balanced.”

Lesser athletic facilities sounds like a good reason to transfer. Transferring has become a “thing” over the past few decades. It happens all too often. 

If your kid’s a midfielder, or a hurdler, or a free safety at REV, it might be worthwhile to seek a transfer just for the rights to play on a superior facility like Citrus Valley or Redlands.

I’m surprised ⎯ really surprised, in fact ⎯ that more protests haven’t been launched on behalf of the total REV athletic program. Meanwhile, district leadership must be greatly impressed over REV's athletic success without equal facilities.

(Got a sports tip? Want to talk about sports? Email at baseballolb@hotmail.com)

Editors Note: Highland Communtiy News contacted the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to confirm if the tribe was going to finance a REV’s faculty, they responded, “All communications matters between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and nonprofit groups regarding grant applications are proprietary and confidential until the nature of a relationship between these parties are publicly disclosed.”

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