BY DEAN HOCKNEY
KOKOMO, Ind. – Sometimes, the best of intentions do not work out; especially with a new organization.
On Wednesday night, the Kokomo Jackrabbits initially allowed the Final Four-bound Lewis Cass Kings to practice on the synthetic turf at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. But approximately two hours into the practice, team officials had to tell the Kings there was a misunderstanding and they needed to end practice – an error Jackrabbits ownership MKE Sports and Entertainment admitted in a statement.
“The scheduling conflict that occurred Wednesday with the Lewis Cass High School Baseball team is the sole responsibility of the Kokomo Jackrabbits,” the MKE Sports stated. “The Kokomo Jackrabbits are responsible for scheduling all events at the Kokomo Municipal Stadium in adherence to our lease and construction requirements, and that did not occur this week.
“Had the policies put in place been followed, Lewis Cass would have been denied access to the field this season due to ongoing construction needs, as other schools in the area have been denied in recent weeks.”
According to MKE and city officials, construction is ongoing during the day. When Lewis Cass took the field at approximately 3 p.m., construction crews had to halt work. And no Howard County teams have practiced or played as the construction is more than two months behind schedule.
“The stadium continues to require an aggressive construction schedule after losing five weeks due to certain state and local politics,” MKE Sports stated. “As a result, our ability to schedule events other than Jackrabbits home games is extremely limited this season.”
MKE Sports offered an apology to the No. 4-ranked Kings (25-3) baseball team, which is scheduled to play in the Class 2A Kokomo North Semi-State on Saturday against No. 3 Lafayette Central Catholic (29-5). The game will be played at approximately 3 p.m. at cfd Investments Stadium in Highland Park.
“We had an internal misunderstanding of these construction schedules and would like to express our most sincere apologies to the Lewis Cass Baseball program for our error,” MKE Sports continued. “MKE Sports and Entertainment, along with the entire Kokomo Jackrabbits organization, wishes them the best of luck in IHSAA Class 2A Baseball Semi-State this Saturday.”
Another situation arose when social media posts indicated that city officials, in particular Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, ordered the team off the field. Both city and Jackrabbits officials deny that claim. In fact, Mayor Goodnight was not even at the stadium when the incident occurred. That resulted in another apology from MKE Sports.
“We apologize to City of Kokomo officials for creating any Public Relations concerns that have resulted from this; specifically, any notion that city hall or City of Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight is to blame,” they stated. “That is certainly not the case.”
The Jackrabbits have a three-game home stand this weekend at Municipal Stadium – Friday with the Springfield Sliders and Saturday-Sunday against the Quincy Gems.