A lot of Maroon

Dunkirk will host the All Maroon Meet today at Karl Hoeppner Field for the first time since 2009.

Joining the Marauders will be Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, Tonawanda and Eden, the school where the meet originated 20 years ago as the brainchild of Raiders’ head coach Chuck Yale.

“He was a great coach and a German teacher,” Dunkirk boys track and field head coach Kurt Warmbrodt noted. “He started it because they had the all-weather track. Then, when he let go, we moved it around to all the other schools, so we’re fortunate to have it.”

Maryvale, one of the six teams to compete annually in the meet will not be on hand today, as budget cuts and lack of funds will it at home.

“It’s been all this time and I think this may be the first time we haven’t had all six (teams),” Warmbrodt noted.

Despite there only being five teams, Warmbrodt expects there to be plenty of competition.

“There’s generally good competition at this meet,” Warmbrodt said. “Cheektowaga has a strong team on the boys’ side and Orchard Park has always been strong on the girls side.

“I think at this point, Orchard Park is the only large school in the mix,” Warmbrodt continued. “And Orchard Park is the only school coming back (next week for the Dunkirk Invite).”

The event will start at 10 a.m. with the steeple chase.

“it’s a very spectator-friendly event,” Warmbrodt said. “So I think people like to come watch it and see that aspect.”

Spectators can also see Dunkirk’s new all-purpose athletic field and track that was finished prior to the 2011-2012 school year.

“I feel we have the best facilities of any of the six schools,” Warmbrodt said. “And it grows hometown support. It shows younger athletes what potentially is out there when they see the bigger events and we’re always happy to showcase the Dunkirk facilities.”

Warmbrodt added that girls’ track and field coach A.J. Burnside has done most of the planning and organizing for the All Maroon Meet, while he has been focused on putting together the Dunkirk Invitational, which will be held next Friday.

As for the bad weather that has continued to remain in the area over the weekend, Warmbrodt isn’t too concerned it will have a dramatic effect on the athletes.

“They’ll jump right into it,” Warmbrodt said. “The last couple of weeks, the meets have all been at this caliber (of weather), so unfortunately we’re used to it. But the weather will get better and we’ll have a good season.”