Friday, the Apollo High School Eagles hosted their rivals the Daviess County High School Panthers at their new home stadium.
But those gates almost didn’t open.
It was down to the wire in Owensboro as crews scrambled to get the stadium ready.
But at 7, the Eagles were ready to go head to head against their big rivals Daviess County in their brand new stadium.
“It’s just…. it’s a game-changer.”
But that game-changer almost didn’t open this football season, after bad weather delayed the project. This week, crews raced against the clock.
“They’re putting in final partitions in the bathroom,” said athletic director Dan Crume, “And our maintenance crews were doing everything they could to get it cleaned up.”
But the wait was worth it. For long-time coaching staff like head track and field coach Charlie Shoulta, it is a dream come true.
“I never believed we’d have anything close to this.”
He says the new stadium is life-changing for his team.
“For the last few years we’ve had to travel. A few years back we even had to have our city-county championship in Henderson County.”
Now, they can host meets right where they are, which he says includes “being able to bring big schools in to see what we have.”
One day ahead of regional championships, his team finally step foot into the new stadium.
“Hopefully, running on it today [Friday] will be a big motivator for the guys and they’re definitely looking forward to track season.”
Crume says Friday’s kick-off made the last-minute rush worth it.
“that has made all the hard work and the tireless nights and just …. worth every penny of it.”
He says there is still plenty to be done at the stadium, and work is expected to take four or five more weeks.
But for it’s moment in the spotlight, it was crowd-ready.