Welcome to the field of dreams.
In Lafayette Christian’s first year in its new stadium, the Cougars will host the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association state championship football and All-Star games this fall. The state title game is set for Friday, Nov. 18 at LCS.
Two weeks later on Saturday, Dec. 3 the GICAA will have the All-Star football game, also in the Cougars new stadium. The field of dreams will seat 800 fans in year No. 1 over at Lafayette Christian. Eventually the stadium will seat almost 2,000 fans in the coming years with some additional bleachers.
“This is a neat opportunity for us and the community. We’re going first class, and this is worth the investment,” said John Cipolla, the Lafayette Christian headmaster.
The stadium is still under construction. It’s not yet a finished product, but the field is taking shape more and more each day. The stadium is a $2.6 million dollar project, and the field will entertain four regular season LCS football games this season.
Game No. 1 for the stadium will be on Friday, Aug. 19 as the Lafayette Christian Cougars take on Solid Rock Christian Academy.
“We’re going to have our own home turf, and we’re going to have some place to hang out. This is a fresh start (for us),” said Lafayette Christian linebacker and wide receiver Jonathon Parham.
Cougars junior offensive guard Knox Evert is also counting the days until LCS moves into its new stadium.
“That field means everything. It’s a big step up, and we can’t wait,” said Evert, who is pretty stout at 6 feet and 250 pounds.
And according to Evert, “We hope to make the state championship game a home game.”
Lafayette Christian head football coach Nate Shaw is just glad to have a true home field. The Cougars played all their previous home football games at Whitesville Road Stadium. Lafayette Christian will become the first high school in LaGrange to have its own on-campus football stadium. The season-opener can’t get here too soon for Shaw and the Cougars. Aug. 19 has been circled on the Lafayette Christian calendar.
“We’re going to draw a big crowd, and we want to break in our new digs. The grass is in. The lights are up, and the players are getting excited,” said Shaw.
The parking lot at the stadium has been paved as well. Some trees have also been planted. The locker rooms probably won’t be finished until late in the season, but the football games will go on.
Cougars assistant coach Glenn Quiggle is as anxious for this stadium as the Lafayette Christian football players.
“This is going to be a roomy facility. It is going to be our field and our stands. It is going to give our kids some hope. When we started this program (nine years ago) we barely had a practice field and players. We have gone from square one,” said Quiggle.
Lafayette Christian will also play soccer matches and hold cross country meets in the new stadium. This is a Cougars kind of world.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer