All three school fields to be completed early August
All three Baytown high schools – Robert E. Lee, Ross S. Sterling and Goose Creek Memorial – are in the midst of getting new turf fields for their respective, on-campus football stadiums.
The upgrades will allow all schools to host soccer and sub-varsity football games on campus.
“The spring was a weather nightmare for our sports,” Robert E. Lee head football coach and campus athletic coordinator Tim Finn said. “This should help our kids be better prepared all year long. The kids are revved up and excited. We can’t wait to get practicing and also getting our sub-varsity and soccer games on.
“We have an awesome district stadium at Stallworth, but we play a lot more games on campus so it will be a fun time for all our programs.”
District athletic director Dr. Bernard Mulvaney said that all the fields should be completed by Aug. 5.
“Just in time for the start of football practice,” Mulvaney said. “If not, we have other practice facilities available until they are finished. They will be definitely done for the scrimmages.”
Those varsity scrimmages are scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 16.
For Mulvaney, it’s about improving the quality of the facilities to best benefit the students.
“It’s all about the kids and now it’s about are they going to love it and want to come play on it.” Mulvaney said. “Are they going to want to play 7-on-7? Are we going to have soccer playoff games at home? These are the things that run through my head is that it’s going to be a complete 100 percent positive for our kids.
“One of our bigger difficulties in the winter was soccer games and having to adjust the games because the weather was so bad we didn’t want to tear up our fields. That’s not a concern anymore.”
Mulvaney admits that this was a key move to help with the district’s student population and win the “facilities war.”
“We are in a competition for families,” Mulvaney said. “For families in this area there are other options outside of Baytown and unfortunately some of those places had newer or upgraded facilities.
“We want to compete and make Goose Creek schools attractive for families.”
Goose Creek Memorial’s field is further along and for first-year head football coach Shannon Carter, it’s a great way to kickoff his tenure.
“The process is moving along great,” Carter said. “It is going to be a tremendous asset for athletics across the district and the community as well.”
The plan is to keep all varsity games at Stallworth Stadium and have all other aforementioned contests on each home site.
It’s not just a practical measure, but also a traditional one.
“Lee doesn’t have stands on the visitor side, at GCM the home side stands are big enough, but there isn’t a lot of seating on the visitor side and at Sterling these is no barrier outside the visitor stands,” Mulvaney said. “To get to the visitor stands you get in through the gate and walk on the track and across the field. That would be a nightmare for security.
“With the kind of history, our varsity games will be played at Stallworth Stadium.”
Stallworth’s lighting will be upgraded according to Mulvaney to save energy with new LED lights.
Other stages of facility upgrades include turf fields for the schools’ baseball and softball fields, which will begin next month and is expected to be complete in December.