PECOS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – This time last year, the Pecos Eagles’ football stadium was condemned and shortly after, demolished to it’s core. On Wednesday, Septempber 21st, the brand new Eagle Stadium at Rotary Field was open to the Pecos community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony along with a Meet the Eagles celebration.
While most student athletes and staff, and the rest of the community, look at the brand new $17.5 million stadium and are genuinely in shock by the outcome of their new home, it is a welcoming shock.
“It’s really different and it’s a welcome change. I honestly like practicing on it, and it feels really soft,” said Pecos senior middle linebacker, David Madrid, who is among the eager student athletes looking forward to the first football game under the new lights.
To many, it may seem like a hefty check, but the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD superintendent, Brent Jaco said it was well worth it for the Pecos community.
“Money extremely well spent. Our last stadium survived 45 years, I expect this place to be here for that long, as well too,” he added. “This is just an incredible facility that we have here for our district, for our students, for our community. We are so proud of this place and can’t wait to open it up here.”
Jaco even mentioned this won’t be the last addition to the PBTISD district or the Pecos community.
“Our school board and our community made a commitment to our students, and we are grateful for that to pass a bond in 2021. We’re building two new elementary schools, we’ve built the stadium, we’re working on other facilities as well, too across the district. It’s an exciting time in Pecos and it’s great to be a part of this community right now,” said Jaco with a great smile on his face.
After all the build up, Friday will officially be the first home game in the new stadium, and to top it all off, it will be the Eagles’ 2022 season homecoming.
Eagles football head coach Scott Williams and his team look forward to the first game under the new lights with a very full crowd.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting. And then all of a sudden now it’s here and you’re just running around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to get all the little details lined out,” he laughed. “[It’s going to be] crazy. Sold out. Going to be an awesome time for not only our football, but also the band, the cheerleaders, the other auxiliary groups, the student body, school board, town. It’s going to be awesome. Can’t wait to get this thing open and going.”
Sophomore quarterback Colt Salgado is just ready to have their own home, instead of practicing across town on a different field, “It’s been different from being at Crockett for sure. It’s right in our backyard, and we’re just come right out and get to work.”
And Madrid said knowing there is a sold out crowd waiting for them and the new field, makes it even more exciting for the Eagles.
“Really electric. I think they said it had sold out already. That’s just one thing to see a sold out crowd, especially in a new, brand new stadium,” Madrid exclaimed.
Through it all, it was mentioned that this won’t only be impacting the football program, but the community and everyone involved in the school. And the band is just as excited if not more for their new home too.
Director of Band, Richard Cole has been working at Pecos High School for 7 years now, and never expected this moment to happen for his students.
He smiled, “It’s something special. Many times football stadiums are meant for the football team, but the bands do perform there and they have contests on stadiums every October and they perform every Friday night, and it’s something special for them to get on a brand new turf, brand new stadium, look at the amazing press box and see a crowd and just perform the hearts out.”
And many band members cannot wait for Friday’s first home game.
Band members, Shane Serrano and Jennifer Cala said it’s all till surreal.
“Honestly, I was amazed because it looked so modern and I didn’t expect like the different colors to just pop out,” said Cala. “The sound of the band echoing back to us is like so amazing.”
Serrano added, “It just feels incredible, like we get to perform in this field, we get to watch Mr. Cole, watch us from the very top, it’s just an amazing experience.”
When asked if they were excited, Serrano said the band is just ready for it to start.
“It’s a little nerve wracking, but I’m sure by the time it comes, we’ll be ready for it.”
And now, it’s time to show off the new look, and the Eagles are ready.
“We’ve been practicing on it, the bands been practicing on it. It’s been awesome. The kids are excited. They’re glad to be in our home now. And so we’re just we’re just ready to show it off to everybody,” added Coach Williams.