State High Reacts to Football Games Played at the South Track


Auden Yurman

State High students pack the stands at the first game of the football season. Renovations at Memorial Field have relocated fall field sports to the north and south tracks. Students have mixed feelings about the adjustment. “I don’t think there’s the same energy that Memorial had,” Zane Saylor, senior, said.

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Memorial Field has been home to State High’s Friday night football games every fall for decades. Varsity football players look forward to their senior season under the lights while students look forward to standing on the front rows of the student section bleachers as seniors. 

This year, however, the football team will not be able to use Memorial Field due to renovations expected to be completed in 2020. Instead, they will play games on the South Track field. Reactions from students, players, and community members have been mixed.

Nate Lusk, senior and defensive end, is among the class of seniors playing their final high school games not on Memorial Field. 

“I don’t like how there’s not seating for all of our fans,” Lusk said. But, Lusk likes how close the South Track is to the school.

Calvin Roan, sophomore and quarterback, said he likes Memorial Field and the South Track in different ways. “I liked the atmosphere with the student section but I still miss the nostalgia of playing on Memorial,” Roan said. 

Zane Saylor, senior, said he does not like the South Track field as much as Memorial. “I don’t think there’s the same energy that Memorial had,” Saylor said. “I also feel that there’s so much open space that it’s not the same community feeling.”

Limited student seating has led some to stand on the track, in front of the temporary bleachers. 

“I don’t like people standing on the track,” Saylor said. “You don’t have that same feeling of everyone being together.”

Eliza Oesterling, senior, is on State High’s varsity soccer team and has played on Memorial Field for the past three years. 

“I’m not a huge fan of the south track for football games just because you don’t have the fun atmosphere of being downtown with a bigger field and seating,” Oesterling said.

Kelly Saylor, senior, said she never went into the games at Memorial Field, but often watched from the Sidney Friedman Parklet. Saylor said she “usually only went to go downtown.” 

Although many consider the situation to be unideal and others have mixed feelings, some see the positive aspects of a new experience. 

“I haven’t been to many State High football games and I decided that it was my last chance my senior year to make it to a few games and enjoy the experience,” Oesterling said. “I think everyone would agree with me that they like Memorial better for games, but I think it’s working out okay.”