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King George’s new stadium won’t be ready for home opener
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
The King George High School football team won’t be able to debut its new stadium against one of its biggest rivals.
After a meeting between school administrators and a code enforcement officer late last week, it was determined the Foxes’ artificial turf stadium won’t be complete in time for their Aug. 31 home opener against Washington & Lee.
So instead, athletic director Alex Fisher has decided to promote the contest as an attempt to pack Hunter Field (also known as The Pit) one last time for a sendoff.
“We were shooting for Aug. 31,” Fisher said. “People are disappointed, but we’re hoping the community can rally behind The Pit one last time. We’ve never had an opportunity to celebrate and say goodbye to The Pit.”
Fisher said the new target date for the opening of the stadium is now Sept. 21 against Battlefield District foe Courtland.
As for the Washington & Lee contest, Fisher has invited all former King George football players to attend what he hopes is the final game at The Pit for $1. The ex-players will serve as honorary captains for the game.
Fisher said the goal is to cover the field “from goal line to goal line” with former players for the coin toss. Those who want to participate in the pre-game festivities have to pre-register by e-mailing Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fisher said King George’s coaches are expected to reach out to New Orleans Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod, a former Foxes standout, to see if he can attend. The Saints wrap up their preseason schedule Aug. 30 against the Tennessee Titans.
“We’ll see,” Fisher said. “Obviously he’s very busy. We’ll reach out to him, but we certainly understand if he’s not available.”
Fisher said the $3.6 million stadium is nearly complete. He said safety issues are the reason for the delay. He said the code enforcement officer wasn’t sure that in case of an emergency or inclement weather, procedures were in place to keep spectators, players and coaches safe. The stadium seats 2,000 people.
“Safety is the first thing on our minds,” Fisher said. “So we had to take a deep breath, step back and finish everything off the right way. We want to keep everybody safe and comfortable so they can enjoy the games.”
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526