August 15, 2012 - Goodrich-At 7 p.m., Aug. 23 the Martians Varsity Football team will step into history.
2012 Goodrich Varsity Football team on the new field (click for larger version)
The 2012 Martians take on the Saginaw Arthur Hill in the season opener at the renovated Roy U. Stacey Athletic complex.
"We are proud of this facility and we thank the taxpayers for their support," said Timothy Zirnhelt, school board president. "The upgrades provide unlimited uses and no mud anymore either. We welcome the community to come out and check out the new field. It's a great day for Goodrich."
After a few upgrades to the middle school last year, the second phase of a $15.4 million bond extension approved by voters in February 2011 has been ongoing since December.
Among the renovations are an expanded concession stand, artificial turf from Kiefer Speciality Flooring of Lindenhurst, Ill. and extensive changes to the entrance to the facility. In addition, Graham, Texas-based Southern Bleacher Company constructed the 1,500-seat capacity bleachers for the home side and 500 on the visitor side of the stadium.
The complex is named after Roy U. Stacey who served in the Goodrich Area Schools as a high school social studies teacher from 1951 to 1953, high school principal from 1953 to 1976, and middle school principal from 1976 to 1986. Stacey died in 2010.
District superintendent Scott Bogner came to the district in July.
"Goodrich Area Schools is thankful to our community for providing the resources for our stadium renovation," said Bogner. "We are looking forward to our students having many years of success on our new facilities. We are proud to be Goodrich Martians."
Jerry Hughes, 85, was the varsity high school head coach for 27 years from 1955 to 1982.
"Back in about 1955 the games were over by Reid Elementary along the Kearsley Creek just north of the bus garage. Later me moved up to where the current high school field is today, that was about 1967. The old field was not that bad, but the grass was not that good and we played on clay, it was pretty hard. That made our kids tougher."
The year before Hughes took over as coach the varsity team did not win a game.
"My first year I had to remove a few of the seniors from the team and told them I was the boss," he said. "The year I started eight sophomores and one freshman that year. I ended up with two all state players from that team."
"I also put face masks on the helments. Not every team had them during those years. The bad part was players could tackle by grabbing the face mask—but I did not allow it," he said. "I had some big farm kids too. My full back Jim Killbreath, weighed 250 pounds and went on to play for the Iowa State Hawkeyes."
"The weather was almost always a factor, consider we only played eight games and went into November," he said "I recall the Linden game in the 1970s with about five inches of snow and slush on the field. At least one player went to the hospital with frostbite that year."
"The new field is beautiful and is a great asset to the Goodrich sports teams along with the community."
The first game will be 7 p.m., Aug. 23 vs. Arthur Hill (Saginaw), 7 p.m., Aug. 30, vs. Perry High School, Sept. 7 vs. Beecher High School, Sept. 14 at Montrose High School, Sept. 21 Durand High School, Sept. 28 at Lake Fenton, Oct. 5 Mt. Morris, Oct. 12 at Lakeville, Oct. 19 at Andover High School (Bloomfield High School