Sports complex could change landscape for Friday night footballThe Superior school board is set to vote tonight on plans for a new athletic complex at Superior High School. The move would change the Friday night football landscape in Superior.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
The Superior school board is set to vote tonight on plans for a new athletic complex at Superior High School. The move would change the Friday night football landscape in Superior.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Ole Haugsrud Memorial Field has been the Spartans’ rented turf since the Superior High School opened.
“Even before Spartans were Spartans, they were playing there,” said UWS spokesman Tom Hansen. Central High School games used to take place on the field, which opened in 1954.
Even former football players agreed that Ole Haugsrud is not up to snuff.
“I played football on it as a Spartan and a Yellowjacket,” said Rich Reder, president of Northwest Beverages and assistant football coach at the high school. “I was a big proponent of keeping (it) at Ole; it was the best field in the conference at the time.”
It was a nice field in the ’80s, but not much has changed, said Ray Kosey, Superior High School athletic director.
The proposed athletic complex, estimated at $4 million, would be located behind the high school on the site of current practice fields. The plan would include an artificial turf football field surrounded by a track, a baseball field and other track and field facilities.
“It’s time, we had to do something to address our needs, so all of our students could benefit and utilize the facility — from our (physical education) classes and the band to all of our sports,” said football coach Bob DeMeyer. “It’s going to be a beautiful thing once it’s finally done. Nothing extravagant, just the things we need to provide the safest and best experience for everyone.”
Funds specifically earmarked for capital improvements would be used to pay for the project, according to Superintendent Janna Stevens.
The construction of an athletic complex at the high school wouldn’t necessarily spell the end for Ole Haugsrud Memorial Field.
“It will certainly have an impact on the UWS campus,” Hansen said. Along with the loss of about $12,000 in revenue each year, the football field will be quieter.
“It’s been great to have the community come to campus to watch football,” Hansen said. But the site is still used for soccer practice, intramural sports and as a field for the Thunder football team from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Future plans for the field will be addressed in the UWS campus master plan, which is being updated, Hansen said.
Final action on the proposed athletic complex is expected to take place during the school board meeting at 6 p.m. tonight in the administration office, 3025 Tower Ave.
If approved, the new fields may be ready for students by fall of 2014.
“I’m really going to miss the games on Friday nights,” said Wendy Brown, manager of the Holiday gas station across the street from the field. “Having the field there has been good for business and brings in a lot of customers.
“But I’m glad for the kids and I’m going to miss them.”
Sports editor Ken Olson contributed to this report.