Home turf: New field means campus can host games

Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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Our House

OUR HOUSE – From left, Ralph Wallace, Yonas Daniel, Laithe Shelly, Coach Jeremy Aguirre, Dakkota Hester and Ryan Elrod stand at the Chisholm Trail Middle School football field. Renovations to the field and facility mean the school can now host football games, beginning this fall. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

For the first time next month, a Chisholm Trail Middle School football team will play a true home game.

Northwest ISD completed its renovation of the campus’ field and track recently, transforming a grass field unsuitable for competition into a state-of-the-art facility with turf, bleachers, a press box and a new scoreboard.

“We had the pop-up sprinkler heads, and where they would go back down in the ground, the kids would roll their ankles in them because they created an uneven surface,” said Coach Ryan Schneider. “We’d had to put cones up to mark the holes. With turf, the injury worry and all that stuff is gone.

“The kids love it. They think it’s the greatest thing ever to get to walk out here and practice on this kind of a field.”

Due to the risk involved with playing on their old field, the school had to bus its students to the district’s main campus to use Northwest High School’s fields for its competitions. The turf fields mean the team can now host games, beginning with a match Tuesday, Oct. 10.

“We were always on the road,” said Assistant Principal Ellyane Palmenteri. “Because we couldn’t have a home game here, our home was Northwest High School. The is the Chisholm Trail community’s field.”

Coach Jeremy Aguirre agreed. He’s hoping to see the school open up the track for students and the community to use in the summer.

Students from nearby rural communities like Rhome and Newark don’t necessarily have year-round youth sports or local fitness facilities, and the new field and track means the school can help meet those needs.

“Hopefully over the summer we’ll be able to get some of those kids in here to use the field,” he said. “There aren’t that many opportunities out here for things like that.”

Palmenteri said the school is planning to mark its first home game by the band playing in the stands to pump up the crowd, and eighth-grade football player Yonas Daniel is anticipating the team christening the new scoreboard with plenty of points this season.

“We’re going to put lots of points up there,” Daniel said. “The first practice we all walked out, and we were like, ‘What is this? This is heaven.”

Aguirre said the new field has garnered similar reactions from other students and staff members. In fact, some of his former players, now high school students, have returned to check out the new facility.

“The kids, especially the eighth graders that played on a grass field last year, they’re loving it,” he said. “It’s a big deal for them.”

In addition to the school’s football and track programs, its volleyball and soccer players will spend time at the facility, Palmenteri said.

“Overall,” she said, “we really want the community to feel like this is theirs.”

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