Exuberant crowd watches first football game at Mike Callas Stadium

November 30, 1999|By CANDICE BOSLEY

Not a single bulb in the scoreboard has burned out yet.

The red seats are pristine, the concrete unmarred.

An exuberant crowd filed into the new Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School Friday night to watch the school's first varsity home football game at the stadium.

For seniors, it was the first ? and last ? time they were able to watch a varsity football game at their home stadium.

"It's like an adrenaline rush. Finally, having a game in our stadium," said North High senior Whitney Colombo, 17, who is the senior class secretary and on the Student Government Association's spirit committee.


"You can just tell everyone was really excited," she said, adding that long lines formed when tickets were sold at the school. "Everybody wanted the red seat tickets."

Colombo said it was rewarding the see the stadium open, given that students have been putting up with the construction noises associated with its building.

"I think it's beautiful," she said of the stadium. "There's nothing wrong with it."

Fellow senior Will Brandenburg, 17, agreed it was nice to see the stadium finally finished.

"When they get a track down for me to run on, it'll be great," Brandenburg said.

Although he only will see one game, it's a game he will enjoy.

"I love seeing my friends out there playing in our stadium," Brandenburg said.

Warming up before the game began, senior cheerleader Amanda Albin said she was not too pleased to practice outside Thursday night.

Being in the cold Friday night was different.

"Now that I'm here and it's actually happening, I'm really excited," she said.

Albin said the feeling was overwhelming.

"Being under the lights," she said.

Amy Shoop, also a senior and a cheerleader, described how it felt to cheer for the home team without having to first board a bus. Until Friday, all of North High's home games were played at School Stadium at South Hagerstown High School.

"It was so much nicer," she said of no required bus ride. "You're home now. Where you should be."

Senior Brandon Cerrone, who plays trumpet for the school's band, said he was surprised the stadium was finished in time to host a home game.

He made a prediction before kickoff.

"We're gonna win," Cerrone said.

Student Government Association President Matt Amalfitano spoke eloquently of what the stadium means not only for the school, but for the community.

"It is eye-opening, the fact that our community embraced a project like this," he said, saying it was refreshing to see how the community came together to make the dream of a home stadium a reality.

"Just look at this field. It's gorgeous," said Amalfitano, who was one of several people who took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony before the game.

At school, the atmosphere changed as Friday approached.

"There's just a fervor in the school, unlike anything I've seen in four years," Amalfitano said.

Amalfitano, who will be able to play all of his home lacrosse games on the field next spring, said when he drives to school and sees the towering lights, he gets chills.

"And who gets goose bumps over lights? I guess I do," he said.

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