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Demopolis opens new stadium

After months of anticipation, Tiger Stadium was officially dedicated with what seemed appropriate fanfare Saturday night as part of the first Fan Day festivities.

“It was unbelievable,” Demopolis head football coach Tom Causey said. “It was beyond my wildest expectations.”

The evening opened with the recognition of a number of dignitaries, including Demopolis City Council members, Demopolis City Schools board of education members and stadium committee members. From there, the program focused on the contributions of several supporting individuals, ranging from the Tiger radio team to videographer Sgt. Mike Black.

“We thank Lydia Randall and Linda Agee for the putting together the itinerary,” DHS Quarterback Club president Kenny Freeman said.

From there, Freeman and the quarterback club unveiled a life-sized, bronze tiger statue named “Pride,” which was presented to the team a night earlier.

“I think the Tiger will be something that, as the seasons go by, will become a tradition,” Causey said of the metal cat that now resides in the Demopolis High field house.

The evening also featured performances by the River City Blue Marching Band and the DHS cheerleaders.

“I thought it was great,” Freeman said. “I heard a tremendous amount of comments about how well organized it was.”

The evening culminated with the introduction of the 2009 DHS football team and a fireworks show, which was sponsored by the quarterback club and Rock-Tenn.

“We just can’t say enough about the support Rock-Tenn has been and is giving the schools in Demopolis,” Freeman said.

The show, which Freeman said many are hoping will become a staple of Demopolis Fan Day, was presented by Mark Pickle of Premier Pyrotechnics. Pickle and his brothers, Buddy and Earl, are graduates of Demopolis High School.

“Mark is the regional manager of this company and he said he wanted to give something back to Demopolis,” Freeman said. “He gave us a tremendous discount.”

The ceremonies marked the unofficial opening of Tiger Stadium, a facility that has drawn rave reviews in its early days.

“I don’t think you’ll find a finer 5A complex in the state,” Freeman said. “The school board worked really hard on it and the stadium committee worked really hard on it.”

“It’s the nicest place I’ve ever been,” Causey said of the stadium. “You’d like to think it compares with the best in the state. The school board and the city of Demopolis has put something out there that is second to none. I just hope we do it justice.”