School board approves new Sale Creek Football Stadium
For the first time in their program's history, Sale Creek High School will have a new home.
The Hamilton County School Board passed in a unanimous vote to build the $2.5 million stadium.
Excited is an understatement.
In a sea of blue, players, coaches and parents filled Thursday’s school board meeting.
And when they heard the announcement of their new home, the room erupted like it was Friday night.
For the program's seven-year history, the Panthers have held home games in random places throughout the county, including Finely Stadium, which is 30 minutes from the high school.
And their new stadium will only be three miles away.
"I am going to think I am in close to heaven as I can get without actually being there I guess. Because it has just been a dream of ours we've dreamed of to have a field right there in the community to play on and it's going to be awesome,” said Sale Creek Offensive Coordinator Roy Shipley.
Shipley has been with the program from the beginning.
He remembers when Head Coach Ron Cox and himself had to find a practice field in the area.
And the conditions were horrible.
"We got out there with lawnmowers and just kept mowing and kept mowing and kept cutting it down and we finally got it to where we can practice on and that's how it all started,” Shipley said.
Junior Quarterback Braden Penny is ready for the lights to shine for Panther nation.
"It's gonna be packed... packed. It's...just to know that everyone...even our homecoming game, just to know that we are going to have that much attention in that game and our home opener. It's just insane to think about,” Penny said.
And they thank the school board for making their dreams a reality.
"Mrs. Thurman is a wonderful supporter of Sale Creek and she has always had our back ever since we first started this thing,” Shipley said.
"It's showing us that other people other than Sale Creek care about our community and Hamilton County as a whole can come together to form one big goal and achieve one common mindset,” Penny said.
They are still coming up with a name for the stadium.
But the players think it should be named after the man whole started it all, Head Coach Ron Cox.
Coaches hope the stadium is complete before next season.