SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. -- A long-time dream has become a reality for the Jefferson High School Community. On Friday afternoon, school officials were joined by coaches, student-athletes, and Jefferson County Board of Education members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new turf field at Cougar Stadium.
"This is a day we've looked forward to for a long time," Jefferson High School Principal Mary Beth Group said. "This is a great day for our student-athletes and musicians, our fans, and our alumni."
The turf conversion cost a total of $950,851 and was part of the $43,732,971 Bond approved by Jefferson County voters last November.
Jefferson High School senior Vincent Bocchetti is a captain of the soccer team. He said he is grateful to the community for their support.
“The community has been actually really great to help us out with the field and help us speak up and get this field built.”
He added that getting to play on the field his senior year is meaningful and that he will enjoy coming home to JHS to watch his teammates in the years to come.
“I’m just really excited for the future, especially for the sophomores, juniors, and freshman to play on this field.”
Jefferson County Board of Education member Laurie Ogden said the process for getting a turf field at JHS actually began over a decade ago when parents and boosters joined to create an athletic complex committee in 2010.
"To fast forward, and have the community come together and vote to pay for this. It’s an amazing dream. Definitely brought tears to my eyes. I love seeing this field and I am so happy for the kids.”
Ogden said having a field of this caliber makes JHS an ambassador locally and regionally.
“It allows you to have so many more competitions to bring other outside entities to your area, as well as being able to provide opportunities for growth with community businesses. I think just to have the opportunity for the kids to have something to be proud of, no matter what it is, is important and this is just far and above anything we could have asked for, so very thankful.”
Work on the field was delayed over the summer due to weather, but AstroTurf, the company contracted to install the field, brought in additional crews at no additional cost, and maxed out 65+ hour work weeks to meet the deadline.
"This could not have happened without our incredible staff, here and at our maintenance department," Group added. “We are so proud of this field and the students who will benefit from it.