Fan Day opens new stadium

Published 9:58 pm Friday, August 7, 2009

Tonight begins a new chapter in Demopolis High School athletics history, as the new Tiger Stadium is officially dedicated in a celebration called Fan Day.

The gates to Demopolis’ brand-new stadium will be opened at 7 p.m., with the Fan Day ceremonies kicking off at 8 p.m.

Fan Day will serve as both an introduction of the 2009 Demopolis Tiger football team and supporting cast as well as an official ribbon-cutting for what is currently being called “Tiger Stadium.”

“This is our stadium dedication and Fan Day,” Demopolis Quarterback Club president Kenny Freeman said. “Next year, of course, we won’t have the stadium dedication, but we hope to have a Fan Day and introduce the football players, cheerleaders and band to the city. There are so many kids who put in work and may never get recognition.”

Freeman said there would also be a new tradition at the stadium dedication.

“We’re starting a new tradition that the Quarterback Club is proud to bring,” he told a gathering of Demopolis City School faculty and staff at the annual Teachers’ Institute on Thursday. “I’m not going to tell you what it is. You have to come see it. It’s going to be something that’s really exciting.”

The ceremonies will begin with the musical stylings of the “River City Blue” Marching Band before giving way to the welcoming remarks of Van Kelley. The presentation of colors will be done by the Demopolis Public Safety Honor Guard and DHS Junior ROTC. Fred Moore of Christian Chapel Church will offer the invocation before the “Harmony” First Baptist Church Girls’ Ensemble sings the National Anthem.

After the introductory festivities, Kelley will return to present the dignitaries, which include Demopolis City Council members, Demopolis City Schools board of education members, new DHS principal Leon Clark and a number of there individuals pertinent to the success of the high school football program.

Following those introductions, DHS cheerleader sponsors Amie Attaway and Connie Boutwell will introduce their squad before first-year band director Matt Fields presents the “River City Blue” Marching Tigers.

DHS head coach Tom Causey will recognize the 2009 Tiger football team before Freeman offers a special “Pride” presentation.

The evening will conclude with the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and a fireworks display offered by Premier Pyrotechnics and DHS alumnus Mark Pickle.

“He graduated from Demopolis,and he just wants to give back,” Freeman said of Pickle, who offered the fireworks display at a significant discount. The cost of that display will be incurred by the Quarterback Club and RockTenn.

In addition to the festivities, Freeman said concessions will be available.

“The concession stands will be open, so come out there and eat a hamburger,” Freeman said. “It is going to be kind of a trial run for the Band Boosters, and we want everybody to support them.”

Freeman said that the design of the event is to bring together and recognize all of the individuals whose efforts lead to a strong football program.

“Everybody deserves to be able to come out and see this new stadium,” Freeman said. “It is a state-of-the-art facility. It is something for us to be very, very, very proud of. Of course, we want (fans) to come out to the games, too. Our football team is a great rallying point. We have great coaches. We’re going to have a good team this year. It’s a great rallying point for the whole city in my opinion.”