Ithaca High School receives new patriotic stadium from private sponsor
ITHACA, Mich. (WNEM) – A local high school sports stadium will be upgraded with grand plans to turn it into a huge memorial to veterans and first responders.
Over the past 10 years, Ithaca’s football program has become one of the most dominant in the state of Michigan, with 7 appearances in 6th division championship games and 5 state titles. This summer, thanks to the generosity of an unnamed sponsor, the program now has a new, state-of-the-art artificial turf field.
“Last year, we had muddy games. So this summer there will be holes and a lot of things on the pitch and with a new surface like this we don’t have to worry about that at all,” said Bronson Bupp, senior defender cum defence. reign said.
Ithaca’s original turf was installed in 1975 with only minor upgrades over the past few decades. Head coach Jordan Hessbrook said the school was long overdue to use the new turf. Sometimes heavy rain made the field unplayable, the team had to reschedule their home matches and play at outside venues.
“If you go through the years, you can see a lot of our games were really a safety concern because of the playing conditions. That’s the loss of our home advantage, plus the loss of our franchise stands, the loss of the gate, plus the pay to move our game to another facility with rental fees,” Hessbrook said.
The new turf field is just one part of the grand scheme of things for the facility. It will become a great patriotic tribute to those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
The donor, who wished to remain anonymous, said next fall there will be monuments and large plaques built around the field to honor Michigan’s 22,000 gold star veterans and responders. The first to give their lives in freedom conflicts since 1900.
The sponsor said there will also be veterans memorial scholarships for each of the six public high schools in Gratiot County. They said this entire patriotic tribute project is being worked on not just for Ithaca, but for the county and the state of Michigan.
The players say they are 100% behind.
“I think it’s a really great thing because the military has done so much for us and our veterans are so important to us. We’ve done some military stuff before, like little nights of remembrance. But now it’s always here and it’s a great thing to have,” said Jeffrey Lombard, senior offensive and defensive specialist.
The season opener for Ithaca on their new turf will be against Homer on August 26.
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