CLINTON — Football cleats hit the new field turf at Clinton High School on Monday, days after the field was completed and a little more than two weeks before the first game of the season.
During a Clinton School Board meeting Monday, Activities Director Gary Lueders told board members the field was completed Friday and caused a slight delay in football practice Monday night as players had first encounters with their new home territory.
“It’s so neat to be able to see our kids really excited,” Lueders said. “They kind of bounced around a little bit and eventually they got down to business and we’ve got football practice going now. It’s something as a community I think we can be truly proud of. It looks really sharp.”
The athletic turf features the CHS logo in the center, with red and white borders and “Clinton” running along the side.
Football players won’t be the only CHS students to experience the athletic turf. In addition to football, the field will be used for marching band practice throughout the first trimester, as well as physical education classes during the year, Lueders explained.
School Board member Missey Sullivan-Pope applauded the district’s new facility.
“It’s amazing. I just saw it and it’s very cool for those kids to be able to experience something so neat,” she said.
The more-than $1 million project was funded with donations and grants to the Restoring Royalty campaign of the River Kings and Queens Athletic Boosters Club.
Superintendent Deb Olson praised the community’s investment in Clinton and the students, noting how rare she believes it is to find such a supportive community.
“They’re just proud of their kids and they want what’s best for the kids,” Olson said. “Think about the last seven years how much has been done for our kids. It’s truly a blessing,” she said.
While CHS will play a pre-season scrimmage on the field, the athletic turf’s debut will come Aug. 30 as the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame is inducted.
The first class contains athletes, coaches and two others who made significant contributions to CHS.
The district has contacted 13 of the 14 inductees or their families, Lueders said. Most will attend the opening game of the season when Clinton plays Davenport North.
Lueders went on to detail the plans for the night. Starting at 5:30 p.m. the school will host a reception and meet and greet in the new gym that will last until 7 p.m.
Students will be assigned to each inductee and their family to act as their hosts for the evening. As the sophomore game ends, the inductees will be escorted around the track before the ceremony starts. They will each receive a plaque.
Lueders anticipates the year and a half of work that has gone into the Hall of Fame will be well worth it.
“Between the field and the hall of fame we should have a pretty good turnout. It should be a very special night,” he said.