Bleacher Blues


Crystal Lake, IL- No matter which side of the Crystal Lake South bleacher issue you fall on, it’s interesting to listen to the men who built them and the coach who really liked them. I stopped and talked to them late last week and learned different perspectives on the current dismantling of the Gator’s bleachers.

Mark Hartlaub and Tim Soto, members of Locals 839/393 Carpenters/Iron Workers (locals working together on the project), were at the field on a nice fall afternoon when I stopped by.

Hartlaub who lives a few blocks from Ken Bruhn Field and a Gator alumnus, had this to say when asked if he cared about taking the bleachers down, “Mixed feelings. Yeah, it was a nice bleacher and we put it in perfectly”.

“Every time I drove by I thought it was awesome.” he continued with a slight sound of regret in his voice.

Head football coach Chuck Ahsmann, whose Gators made the playoffs and finished the season with a record of 5-5, told me this, “From our perspective it (the dismantling) was disappointing because it was an awesome stadium. Gorgeous bleachers, nice press box and beautiful green and gold colors.” He continued, “We filled them up at our games and every parent could sit for graduation {which in the  past was impossible}. It was a nice deal. When it’s all redone, I hope it will be just as nice and everyone is happy.”

On that point, I think everyone can agree.