Sale Creek Anxious to Play in New Football Stadium
Sale Creek, TN-(WDEF-TV) Nine years after creating a football program from scratch, the Sale Creek Panthers finally have a stadium of their own. The Panthers’ brand new stadium debuts this season. News 12’s Angela Moryan gives you a sneak peak.
Said head coach Ron Cox: “I just never thought it was going to happen.”
On September 19, 2019, the Hamilton County School Board approved funding for Sale Creek’s first stadium. Now, two years later, the Panthers finally have a place to call home.
Said quarterback Camden Penny: “At that point, it doesn’t feel real. Like they just said it. But now that we’re standing in the stadium with bleachers, game field, it feels awesome.”
Said running back Drew Hillian: “Everyone’s just excited, I feel like. Finally going to have a real field, you know, student section. We’re going to actually be gaining money now. So I feel like this is huge for the program. It’s going to take it in the right direction.”
Said athletic director Dr. Roy Shipley: “This just means so much more than I think a lot of people can comprehend because we started on this spot right here. Coach Cox and I mowed down a basically hay field right here to create a practice area in 2013. The fact that we now have a stadium, nine years in we’re going to play our very first ever home ball game, I believe it’s going to be wall-to-wall standing room only here.”
Said Hillian: “It’s going to change the atmosphere. It’s really going to feel like a football program now. We used to travel and stuff, not a lot of fans showing up, because I mean, that’s a good drive to Finley. But now it’s here in our home town. I feel like it’s just going to change everything.”
Along with the stadium, Sale Creek built a brand new football facility, complete with concessions and two state of the art locker rooms.
Said Shipley: “It’s like watching my granddaughters on Christmas morning. When they go in that locker room, it’s like little kids on Christmas morning.”
Said Cox: “I don’t think there’s words to describe it, considering we’ve been changing outside our vehicles and carrying our equipment every day to school, and our equipment rolling around in the back of trucks and stuff. You can’t explain the look on their face when they walked into that locker room.”
Said Hillian: “We were just kind of in awe, honestly, because you know, like it’s here finally. We didn’t have to dream about it anymore. It’s here.”
Said Shipley: “We have home uniforms, but we’ve never played a home ball game, so this is going to be an amazing experience for our kids.”
Said Hillian: “You know, it’s our home field. It’s not the Mocs home field. It’s not Fort Bluff. This is the Panthers field. We just want to protect it.”